NEWCASTLE United are staying “cool” as the race for Champions League football heats up.
Alan Pardew’s players have the advantage of an extra day’s rest over tomorrow night’s opponents Chelsea, who played on Sunday.
And Pardew – whose team were beaten 4-0 by Wigan Athletic on Saturday – is determined that the club make it count with so much at stake.
Newcastle need to take at least a point from their visit to Stamford Bridge to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive.
The Magpies are level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, who take on Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium the same night.
Newcastle’s players were yesterday using a whole body cryotherapy chamber hired by the club.
Used by the Welsh national rugby team, it aids recovery, and Pardew’s hopeful his players – who each spent three minutes into the super-cooled chamber – will feel the benefit when they take on Chelsea.
“It’s something we’re thinking about for next year,” Pardew said.
“We’ve introduced it for this particular game to try and increase the players’ recovery. We think it’s something different, and we know it works. Hopefully, it’ll help us.”
However, United’s staff can only do so much, whatever state-of-the-art equipment is used at the training ground.
“Being in that tank with dried ice poured over you ain’t going to be like playing Chelsea!” added Pardew.
“I’d have liked to have gone into this game with a different feeling (from the defeat at Wigan), but I know, having looked in the players’ eyes, there’s a determination to put it right.
“Hopefully, we’ll take that on to the park, but even at our very best we could struggle to win at Chelsea.
“But we’ve got to believe we’ll get a break in the game, and that we’ll be at our very best.”
Pardew has Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan back from injury, and he has to decide whether to keep the same starting XI he fielded at Wigan.