Newcastle United fans have been left stunned by the club’s announcement that they are to take part in a unique friendly fixture during the enforced three week break between fixtures.
The Magpies have nearly a month off from league action following their clash against Southampton on Saturday, having seen their fixture with Tottenham postponed as a result of the Lilywhites’ FA Cup quarter final against Swansea City.
With an international break following next weekend off, it means there will be 21 days between the 3-0 win over the Saints and their home tie against Huddersfield, and the Magpies have taken the decision to embark on a four-day training camp and a friendly match against Belgian side Royal Antwerp, as confirmed on their official Twitter account and website.
Newcastle United will take on Belgian side Royal Antwerp in a friendly fixture during a four-day training camp in Spain this week.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 12, 2018
However, the exhibition clash will be unique in the fact that the two sides will play out a match consisting of three 45 minutes periods instead of two, giving the opportunity for the clubs to offer all of their squad the opportunity to feature.
Newcastle supporters were shocked by the announcement on Twitter, although many understood the reasoning behind the decision.
Here, Football Insider has rounded up a selection of the supporters’ best tweets:
What in God’s name is this atrocity.
— Dubravka is God (@NUFC1996) March 12, 2018
Rafa is such a god he can even change the rules of football https://t.co/LJvAy0h9t5
— tony (@T_NUFC) March 12, 2018
— Nathan Nicholson (@JnathanN) March 12, 2018
FINALLY! This ice hockey fan can finally understand football!
(A wee bit of sarcasm here.)
— MikeCastagno (@MikeCastagno) March 12, 2018
Rafas obviously getting them used to extra time in preparation for the FA cup
— D ???? X (@Not_Dox) March 12, 2018
Well, that’s a bit bizarre… pic.twitter.com/d6thCU8Gxk
— Ryan (@RyMorris95) March 12, 2018
— Kie (@kiebolton18) March 12, 2018
Brings back some great memories #5-0
— Pete Henley (@petehenley66) March 12, 2018
Newcastle have played twice against Antwerp previously, both in the UEFA Cup in September 1994, the Magpies scoring five goals in each game, with Rob Lee netting a hat trick in a 5-0 away win and Andy Cole also netting three in the home clash, which finished 5-2.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are readying a record smashing bid for a top flight mainstay.