By Alex Taylor

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has ordered his squad to do double training sessions over the international break, according to a report.

The Chronicle Live claim that Benitez, 56, has increased the workload of the players who did not travel with their national teams for World Cup qualifiers this weekend.

Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Perez and Vurnon Anita, among others, have all remained with the Magpies squad as they prepare to take on Brentford in just over a week’s time.

The extra sessions included weight training in the gym as well as pitch work as Benitez looks to keep his side in peak physical condition after their strong start in the Championship.

The Toon have picked up 22 points from their opening 11 games this term and currently sit third in England’s second tier.

A win over seventh placed Brentford could see the Tyneside outfit go top of the table as they seek an immediate return to the Premier League this season.

Eleven Newcastle stars have missed out on the grueling training regime as they compete for their nations around the globe, including Chancel Mbemba, Matz Sels, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Mohamed Diame.

In other Newcastle news, Grant Hanley has revealed what extra dimension Rafa Benitez brings to the Magpies’ squad.