Allardyce cancels Christmas at Newcastle

Sam Allardyce has vowed to triumph in a battle of wills with his Newcastle stars after cancelling their Christmas.
The defiant Toon boss has proposed taking his squad on a training and relaxation break starting immediately after their Boxing Day clash at Wigan.

After leaving their families following Christmas Day lunch for the journey to Wigan, Allardyce wants to fly them post-match to London for three days in a spa hotel.

He believes it will relieve the pressure of festive distractions at home, before Newcastle play Chelsea on December 29 at Stamford Bridge.

Three senior stars, including keeper Shay Given, held talks with their boss last week.

Allardyce denied injured England striker Michael Owen was part of the trio - but reckons Premier League stars are always moaning about something.

Quizzed over the discontent in his camp, he said: "Players are not happy about a lot of the stuff that I do, because they're players and I'm the manager.

"I'm the man who knows what's right for them and I know it more than they do. That's why I sit in this chair.

"There's always something a player doesn't like.

"The whole scenario for me is that there's no point flying back here after Wigan, when we're playing Chelsea away.

"Recovery is becoming as important as training now, there's so much physical and mental fatigue.

"People don't like it when they're taken out of their comfort zone - so you have to be persistent, give them the right information and tell them it's going to make them a better player."

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