Report: Rafa Benitez makes drastic change in a bid to improve Newcastle's fortunes

St James Park

The Spaniard has failed to win either of his first two matches as Newcastle United manager.

Rafa Benitez has implemented a dramatic change at Newcastle United's training ground as he strives to keep the Magpies in the Premier League next season.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the Spaniard has taken the decision to banish Newcastle's Under-21s, managed by former player Peter Beardsley, to the club's academy half a mile down the road - in a bid to maximise space and minimise any first-team distractions.

Benitez is apparently keen to create a feeling of togetherness among senior players and wants to get to know those who will determine the Magpies' fate almost intimately ahead of their return to action against Norwich City in 11 days' time.

In addition, the report claims the 55-year-old has cancelled all casual days off, with his players' only rest days coming post-match.

Newcastle remain in 19th place following Sunday's 1-1 draw against local rivals Sunderland, who are only a point above the Magpies in 18th.

Both teams have eight games to secure their safety, which is one more than 17th-placed Norwich, who are two points ahead of the Black Cats.

Last week, Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce revealed he'd taken a contrasting approach to Benitez, telling TalkSPORT he'd given his players some time off as they "can’t get any fitter than we are now".

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