David Moyes hopes a mid-season trip to New York will provide his Sunderland players with the boost they need to secure Premier League survival and has invited president Donald Trump to join the jaunt.
Things were looking bleak for the Black Cats when a 2-0 defeat at West Brom last month saw them drop to the foot of the table, three points adrift of safety.
However, a battling 0-0 draw at home to Totttenham was followed by a 4-0 demolition of fellow strugglers Crystal Palace, meaning Moyes’ men have renewed optimism ahead of Saturday’s visit of Southampton.
Having already exited the FA Cup, Sunderland will have two weeks without a game before they visit Moyes’ old club Everton on February 25.
And the Scot is planning to use the extended period of inactivity to travel stateside with the squad and visit ‘the city that never sleeps’, where temperatures are below zero.
“It’s something different. It gives the players something to look forward to and they need a bit of a break,” he said in Friday’s media conference.
“We’re going to watch basketball and ice hockey and all go to Ground Zero so, culturally, I hope to educate the boys as well.
“The big thing for me though is to create a team spirit so they look after each other on the pitch. I want them to build relationships off it, too – and the psychology behind going somewhere so cold is that when we come back we’ll think Sunderland is Dubai.
“We all like the sunshine, well apart from us ginger lads, but I’ve done New York before [with Everton] and it works.
“We’ll train every day and do quite a bit of running in Central Park, as well as cycling, but the players will have downtime for sightseeing and other things.
“If you treat players right, give them the best, then you can expect the best back from them every week. We ask a lot of them so I’ll try to give my players the best back and make them feel good.”
Moyes also suggested his players would be open to a visit from the controversial president of the United States.
“If Donald Trump wants to come and see the boys, he’s very welcome,” Moyes added. “Maybe we’ll go to Trump Tower, see if we can get anywhere near it.”
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