Sam Allardyce will whisk his Sunderland squad to Dubai in early February to help them prepare for the final push to stay in the Premier League.
After Saturday’s 1-0 loss at the hands of Watford, Sunderland remain in the bottom three with just 12 points from their opening 16 games – leaving them two points from safety.
Odion Ighalo’s goal at the Stadium of Light condemned Allardyce to his fifth league defeat since replacing Dick Advocaat on October 9, while it was the 10th of Sunderland’s top-flight campaign.
After a hectic December and January in the Premier League, the Sunderland boss believes it is important his squad get away and hopes it can revive their fortunes in the final months of the campaign.
“My teams have had breaks in for the last 14 years, in Dubai, for five or six days in February,” he said.
“The stats tell you that over those last period of games over 14 years, Bolton, Blackburn, West Ham have improved their physical output just by five days’ break.
“Just by relaxing for five days. We don’t train, we tick over, we relax, we get away from football and get a bit of sun.
“The lads are physically and mentally drained from the Christmas period. We just get them relaxed, switch them off, they don’t have to worry about football. Just relax and come back and get ready for the big push at the end of the season.”
He added: “In physical terms, you get a great benefit and I’ve 14 years of research behind that. Every team I’ve had has always physically done better, which generally gives you better results – and that’s only a five-day break.
“There’s also a lot of research that shows European teams have less injuries after that break than we do. We continue to have a lot of injuries.
“It’s relentless. All you do is travel, play, recover, travel, play, recover. More and more figures prove that the winter break works.”