Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis says a mid-season trip to Dubai is the perfect way for the Dons to gear up for the second half of the campaign.
Derek McInnes’ side head to the United Arab Emirates on Monday for a week of training in warm weather at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence.
It will be Aberdeen’s third trip to Dubai and Lewis believes the week will be hugely beneficial as the Dons prepare for the remainder of the season, which starts with a Scottish Cup tie against Stenhousemuir on January 18.
Aberdeen’s 2-0 defeat at Stenhousemuir in 1995 remains one of the biggest shocks in Scottish Cup history but Lewis reckons his side’s trip to Dubai will ensure they aren’t caught cold by the Warriors later this month.
Lewis said: “A trip to Dubai in January is always welcome as some of the conditions we have played in this season haven’t been great at all.
“It will be nice to get out there and do a bit of training in warm weather in fantastic facilities. We will get six days of good preparation done with some games as well out there so it’s ideal.
“It will be good to get some time off then go out there and work really hard to make sure we are ready for the Scottish Cup game when we get back.”
Lewis has played every single minute of Aberdeen’s 27 games this season, keeping nine clean sheets in the process.
The Dons went into the break on the back of a 2-1 victory over Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena, which left them only three points behind Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic.
After a stuttering start to the campaign, Lewis was pleased his side managed to find their form towards the end of 2018 with six wins out of eight league games in December helping the Dons keep their hopes of a fifth successive top two finish on track.
It was a busy end to the year for the Reds, who started December with a narrow 1-0 Betfred Cup final loss against Celtic at Hampden.
Lewis added: “Earlier in the season there were too many breaks because of the international matches that were being played.
“That makes it a bit of a stop-start season for the clubs before you’ve really got going. Especially after nine games in December, the outfield lads who’ve been running around and working hard will enjoy the break.
“It’s definitely been a welcome introduction to the calendar since I came here and it definitely benefits the Scottish game.”