Inside Manchester United’s brutal pre-season - players are much fitter than under Jose Mourinho


Manchester United continued their impressive start to pre-season with a 1-0 win over Inter Milan on Saturday.

The Red Devils have now won all three of their friendlies, beating Perth Glory and Leeds United as well.

It may be very early, but United do look very fit and very sharp at this stage - and that can only be a good thing.

The fact that the players are looking good is no coincidence because Ole Gunner Solskjaer is putting his team through their most intense pre-season workout in years.

Last month, reports of a brutal fitness and training regime emerged and it seems that those suggestions were quite accurate as on Monday, some secrets from United's camp were exposed.

According to the Mirror, Solskjaer is taking steps to ensure that his team will stay fit throughout the 2019/20 campaign, rather than tailing off towards then end, as they did this year.

Over this summer, the Norweigian's backroom staff have included a 'head of sports science', a 'strength and conditioning coach' and a 'head of athletic training'.

All three of those men have been working together during the first two legs of the tour, with players making a 'marked improvement' compared to this time last year under Jose Mourinho.


Per the report, 'fitness coaches compared sessions to the same two-week period in 2018 and found the squad's total running distance was up 10 percent, with the high-intensity element up 50 percent'.

Those numbers are rewards of an intense fitness programme. In Australia, Solskjaer's squad trained 14 times in nine days, working double sessions early on.

The fitness work has since eased up a bit, as most was done away from the humidity and heat of China, where the squad are currently visiting.


Now, the schedule is slightly different. Training sessions begin with 'injury prevention warm-up drills', to protect players from common problems such as hamstring and groin injuries.

Once that is finished, they move on to 'distance and speed sessions' before working with the ball and tactical instructions later on.

Jesse Lingard, who's been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this summer, is said to be producing the most impressive workout stats of the entire squad so far.

Manchester United v Leeds United - Pre-Season Friendly

He was one of the three first-team players who picked up an injury against Liverpool last season - and Solskjaer believes this kind of intense work will help avoid any repeat of that.

So far, it looks like things are working and judging by their intense pre-season training, Man United could have one of the fittest squads in the Premier League next season.

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