EDDIE HOWE has altered Newcastle United’s training schedule in the United States to ensure his players are not negatively affected by the heatwave currently affecting the country.

Newcastle’s players landed in the US on Wednesday, and began training yesterday ahead of their opening Premier League Summer Series game against Aston Villa, which will be staged in Philadelphia in the early hours of Monday morning, UK time.

Daytime temperatures in Philadelphia are currently reaching the high 30s, so Howe has shifted Newcastle’s training times to early morning and late evening in an attempt to provide his players with the best possible conditions.

“We’ve made a few changes to what we might otherwise have been doing,” said the Magpies boss, who will welcome Joelinton to the Magpies’ training base later today after the Brazilian’s visa issue was finally resolved. “We’re training early and training late, to try to avoid the middle of the day when the midday sun is at its hottest.”

Newcastle have won both of their pre-season matches so far, seeing off National League side Gateshead 3-2 before beating Scottish Premier League club Rangers 2-1 at Ibrox on Tuesday night.

The standard of competition is set to increase significantly over the next ten days, with the Magpies facing Summer Series matches against Aston Villa, Chelsea and Brighton. Sunday’s opener against Villa should be especially interesting, with the Magpies set to face Unai Emery’s side again on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

“We’ve got three really tough games, so we’ll get a really good examination of us,” said Howe. “If we’re being honest, it’s probably come a little bit too early for us, we’d probably have liked it a week later.


“It’ll be a really tough examination, but I think it’ll be something that stands us in really good stead for the season ahead, with European games and the high levels we’ll be up against. Hopefully, it’ll help make us ready for Aston Villa (in the first Premier League game).”

While the presence of Premier League opposition should ensure a reasonably high level of competitiveness on the pitch, there is also a commercial angle to Newcastle’s involvement in the Summer Series.

Broadening the Magpies’ global appeal was a key ambition of Amanda Staveley’s ownership group when they completed their buyout of Mike Ashley a year-and-a-half ago, with Newcastle’s Saudi Arabia-backed owners desperately needing to increase their revenue streams to enable them to make increased investments into the playing squad while still staying on the right side of the Financial Fair Play regulations.

“There’s always different elements to a trip like this,” said Howe. “Partly, it’s about the benefit to the club. We get our name out to different parts of the world, and we’re proud to travel and represent the club. Hopefully, a lot of people will come and support us.”