Date: 28th June 2006 at 12:41pm
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Newcastle’s first team players returned to work on Wednesday with the first aim of putting together a European campaign via the Intertoto.

United are the first Premiership side to return to training, and that is seen as a problem in itself as most teams who enter the competition complain of burn-out by Christmas. But that seems to be a small price to pay as chairman Freddy Shepherd wants involvement in the UEFA Cup, and only BK Keflavik of Iceland and Norwegians Lillestrom stand in his way.

Victory in the competition will mean a place in the early rounds of the UEFA Cup.

Roeder: ‘Most of the boys will back. They have had six weeks’ holiday to relax, which they deserved following their efforts last season. But tomorrow it is back to training and we are determined not to see the last three months of the season go to waste.

‘We must get up to full fitness for our first leg in the InterToto Cup on July 15. I had a meeting with our fitness coach Paul Winsper at the end of last season, and, at first, next Monday was suggested as the start date. But after some consideration we opted to start tomorrow, which gives us an extra four days.’