It never looks good after a four-goal thrashing when a team jets off to New York.
But if it builds up the team spirit and brings the players together – which is going to be vital in every game from now on – I am for it.
The opportunity has arisen due to Sunderland’s early exit from the FA Cup and there aren’t many jobs where you are rewarded for failure with a lads trip to America.
Being serious, however, most teams out of the cup will do it.
Sam Allardyce took the players to Dubai last year and even back in the 1980s we would often go to Spain in mid-winter if there was a free weekend.
I know it is much different now but back then it was seen as a social break, a chance to unwind over a few beers and you would often see other clubs out there at the same time.
So we would end up socialising with players you knew would be kicking lumps out of you just a handful of weeks later.
At this time of year, managers are looking at different ways to stimulate the players mentally and get them refreshed and re-energised.
I remember last season Big Sam took his players down to the beach at Seaburn for the change of scenery – apparently the players loved it and he would have remembered we did that in his playing days at Roker Park.
It is all about getting an edge now, gaining that extra one or two per cent and if it takes a mid-season break, or a change to the normal training routine, then do it because in our position we need every advantage we can get.