The Newcastle head coach has taken advantage of an 18-day gap in the fixture list to book a morale-boosting four-day training camp for his first-team squad at the top European sports and leisure resort in Murcia, south-east Spain, from February 17-21.
As well as taking the chance to put his players through their paces under sunny skies using La Manga Club’s world-class football facilities, McClaren has also arranged a friendly at the resort against Norwegian side Lillestrøm – who are staying on site at the same time – at 3pm on Saturday, February 20 (entry free), as he finalises Newcastle’s preparations for the final three months of the campaign.
The Magpies will return to league action on Wednesday, March 2, with an away game against Stoke City, the first of their 12 remaining Premier League matches.
McClaren said: “We believe there is a lot of work and preparation to be done. There are players coming back, we need work and togetherness because after the Chelsea game from Stoke onwards it’s game after game.
“It’s the most critical part of the season when you are coming into the last 10. We are in a position where we are still in that battle to climb up the league and get away from the bottom three.
“We also needed a game. It’s difficult to find one here because everybody else is playing and if they aren’t they need a rest. So it’s an ideal opportunity to arrange a game behind closed doors.”
Newcastle is the latest team to head to La Manga Club to make use of its world-class facilities, with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Shakhtar Donetsk among its list of illustrious recent visitors.
With extensive facilities including eight FIFA-approved grass pitches, the multi award-winning venue has made a name for itself as a first-choice destination for a football training break.
As well as its football training amenities, La Manga Club boasts a fully equipped gym and indoor swimming pool, ideal for recovery sessions; a host of rooms and spaces to cater for tactical meetings, private team dining and a new High Performance Sports Centre, where players can use the most advanced technology possible to study all aspects of their health and training programmes.
In addition, the venue is also the first resort in the world to open a High Performance Football Centre, offering professionals, both established and aspiring, the chance to sign up to one of its new comprehensive, fully residential programmes to help display their talents and further their careers.
Set in 1,400 acres, La Manga Club is the official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and boasts unrivalled facilities as a sports and leisure destination including three 18-hole golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm spa and fitness centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 20 bars and restaurants.