London: Premier League clubs usually use fixture-free weeks as an opportunity to escape the English winter and visit warmer climes but Southampton have taken a novel approach by heading to the Swiss Alps.
Ronald Koeman`s sixth-placed squad, making the most of an early FA Cup exit, are indulging in winter sports including skiing and ice hockey.
The unusual destination for a mid-season break was doubtless influenced by Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger, a former coach of the NHL`s Edmonton Oilers and the Swiss national team.
Coach Koeman and players Toby Alderweireld, Fraser Forster and Nathaniel Clyne tweeted photos of their action-packed trip which may have supporters sweating over safety issues.
Videos showed precariously balanced players and staff tumbling on the ice at a frozen hockey rink before hitting the ski slopes on Friday.
But Netherlands forward Eljero Elia was not enjoying himself, tweeting a picture from his hotel room alongside the caption: "It`s too cold for me."
Southampton visit league leaders Chelsea on March 15, hoping to avoid any more slip-ups in their bid for a top-four spot and qualification for next season`s Champions League.