By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
Steve McClaren says his team's five-day training camp in La Manga is a mixture of "work, rest and recuperation" - with the aim being to ensure that Newcastle return in the best possible shape, mentally and physically, for their Barclays Premier League run-in.
United's head coach took a 26-man squad to Spain and his players trained at the La Manga Club Football Centre - which has been used by the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund - on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.
There will be another session on Thursday afternoon and one on Friday before the Magpies take on Norwegian side Lillestrom in a friendly match on Saturday, as United look to fill the void between their next league game away to Stoke City at the beginning of March.
"It's important that players just get ready and play some minutes," McClaren told nufcTV on Wednesday. "We tried to get a game in England; we couldn't manage that, so it's ideal coming out here.
"I'm used to La Manga, I've been here plenty of times. It has good facilities.
"It was nice just to get the flight out of our legs and do a little bit of work and get ready for a couple of good days of work on Thursday and Friday."
And January signings Andros Townsend, Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet and Seydou Doumbia also made the trip, with McClaren admitting that the camp should benefit the new boys off the pitch as well as on it.
"Breakfast together, lunch together, just being around the hotel together - it's difficult to create that kind of togetherness but it's great because you've got four days together," he said.
"It's intense, and hopefully we'll come back refreshed, renewed and ready for the challenge again.
"It's good to get everybody together. It's a mixture between work, rest and recuperation, and setting some targets for the end of the season.
"It's a 12-game season now. There are six or seven teams (in the battle against relegation) and we've got to make sure we're one, two or three above that."