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Pardew defends training trip to Abu Dhabi

Having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Cardiff City earlier this month, Newcastle have 10 days without a game following Saturday's fixture at West Ham.

Pardew's squad will head to the Middle East for a training camp, with the manager confident the trip will reap rewards.

"Our fans need to know we booked this before we went out of the cup," Pardew told the Shields Gazette.

"We were thinking about doing a mini-break, like we did when we finished fifth (in the 2011-12 season).

"We lost the first game when we came back, but we went on a terrific run afterwards. We'd done so much work.

"This would have been our prep for the fourth round, but unfortunately we got knocked out.

"We're coming back on Thursday. It’ll be three or four days' work in the sun. That's all.

"The only disappointing thing is that there are suggestions we're doing it in the cup week – it was always going to be done this week."