Newcastle have drafted in sporting performance expert Sir Dave Brailsford to address their squad ahead of the new Premier League season.
Brailsford, who masterminded the rise of British cycling on track and road with his concentration on marginal gains, shared his thoughts with the Magpies’ coaching staff and players during their pre-season training camp in Lisbon on Sunday evening.
Head coach Eddie Howe told the club’s official website: “I have been aware of Sir Dave’s approach and his incredible achievements at the very elite level of sport for a long time and I was delighted to finally meet him.
“He has overseen so much success in specific disciplines, but his principles are transferable to any competitive sporting environment.
“It was great for him to spend some time with the group, to share his insights and to stimulate thought and discussion as we approach the new season.”
Newcastle’s sporting director, a long-time friend and associate of Brailsford, added: “I’ve known Sir Dave for a number of years, working across various different sports and he is without doubt the best in world sport at creating high-performance culture and turning that into winning.
“There were some brilliant messages for us all and it was great to get him in at this point of pre-season.”
Former Team Sky principal Brailsford is currently director of sport at INEOS and has worked with the New Zealand All Blacks, OGC Nice, the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team, the INEOS Britannia sailing team and elite runner Eliud Kipchoge.
Newcastle face Portuguese side Benfica at the Estadio da Luz on Tuesday evening before Serie A Atalanta visit St James’ Park on Friday evening and LaLiga outfit Athletic Bilbao the following day ahead of the opening league fixture against promoted Nottingham Forest.
Goalkeeper Nick Pope and defenders Matt Targett and Sven Botman have been added to the squad, but the club is continuing its efforts to recruit attacking reinforcements with Paris St Germain’s Julian Draxler the latest to be linked with a switch to Tyneside following a frustrating hiatus in recent weeks.