EPL

Solskjaer impressed with spirit as Man United try 'new ideas' ahead of resumption

By Sports Desk June 05, 2020

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been implementing "new ideas" in Manchester United's training and the manager is impressed with the team's spirit as training intensity is ramped up ahead of the Premier League's resumption.

United will get their 2019-20 campaign back underway in two weeks' time at Tottenham, more than three months after their most recent match – the 5-0 Europa League win at LASK on March 12.

Prior to the coronavirus-enforced hiatus, United had hit a strong run of form, enjoying an 11-match unbeaten streak across all competitions, including Premier League wins over Chelsea and Manchester City.  

That resurgence was in spite of injuries to key players Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, both of whom are expected to be available again when the season recommences.

And with Pogba yet to play alongside new signing Bruno Fernandes, United fans are understandably excited at the prospect, and Solskjaer confirmed the team has been working on fresh "ideas" in training.

"Training has been about recapping what we did well, tweaking maybe one or two things and looking at some new ideas," he told United's official website. "But hopefully we can see a lot of what we saw towards the end before the lockdown.

"We've got games coming weekend, midweek, weekend for a spell, so you have to focus on ourselves and not just on that one, first game.

"We've been looking forward to these games for ages really. It does make it feel like, 'Yes, we're here soon'. The first game is two weeks from today [Friday], so we need to step up the training and get an edge to our game again.

"Everyone knows that we will have to be at our best, have to be focused [against Tottenham]. We know it's a big game for everyone. We had Chelsea when we started the league this season, so I'm confident that our players can go into the Tottenham game with that mentality of going there to play a very good game of football."

While the coronavirus suspension prevented players from training together for nearly three months, Solskjaer was thrilled to see they have managed to keep themselves fit, and he believes the competitive edge is beginning to shine through now contact training is allowed.

"In any interview, I'd say, 'Yes the mood is great and the spirit's good' but it has been really good," Solskjaer continued.

"I think everyone can see over the last few months how the players have behaved and dealt with the situation and how we as a club have dealt with it. The players have kept themselves fit as well, which has been great.

"The weather was fantastic when they got going in small groups and gradually now, as we've got into contact training, you can see a little bit more of the edge but also the camaraderie and team bonding.

"That's vital for me in a team. That's one of the main things, that we are a team and the team goes before anything else."

United are fifth in the Premier League, three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two ahead of Wolves and Sheffield United, as the tussle for the final Champions League spot looks set to go to the wire.

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