Players would head back to France or book a few days in the sun, having been given permission by the club to wind down after the tough festive schedule.
That’s no longer the case according to skipper Jamaal Lascelles, who insists the current players are as committed as the Toon Army to a long-overdue cup run.
The cup is serious business again, reflected by the team Rafa Benitez sent out, the near-50,000 crowd at St James’ Park and the professional manner Newcastle went about dismantling a bold, brash but ultimately flawed Luton side.
“Everybody wants to play and is pleased to be picked,” said Lascelles, who will be fit next week despite going off before half-time with a slight hamstring.
He claims the culture is very different from the time when cup football was deemed, from boardroom down to dressing room, a needless distraction with players demanding time off in early-January.
“Yes, there probably would have been a few like that but that’s not the case these days,” he said.
“Some would have looked to have this weekend off after the busy period but it certainly wouldn’t happen now.