How Liverpool warning prompted Man Utd to make major change in pre-season
Manchester United finished a disappointing sixth last season and a staggering 31 points behind rivals Liverpool as the Merseyside outfit fell just short of Premier League glory.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men suffered injuries like most last year but it was against Liverpool back in February where a major problem developed.
United were forced to replace three players due to hamstring injuries – Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and the latter’s replacement Jesse Lingard – in the first half as they held on for a 0-0 draw.
And as a result of the Liverpool match, each training session now begins with injury prevention exercises focusing on two or three key areas.
“Our key injuries over the last few years have been groins and hamstrings,” Rich Hawkins, United’s head of athletic training services, said.
“One of our aims is to ensure everyone is available for the manager on day one of the season so a lot of the focus initially in training is on those groin and hamstring areas.
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“The work ethic has been phenomenal.
“Day one we had a meeting with the players and presented three key points that we wanted from them – to train with intensity, be committed to the process and when they have a chance to recover, to do it properly.”
“I’ve had a pre-season with Warren Joyce – he was mad!” said midfield player Scott McTominay of United’s former Under-21 coach.
“He’s a top man but some of the pre-seasons we had with him were absolutely ridiculous. It’s been good to have one like that this year as well.
“The running, the training hard, is perfect but it’s the details that we’re trying to get right this pre-season.”
Luke Shaw also agrees, saying: “Pre-season has been very difficult but the sessions have been great.”
United’s next match comes on Thursday when they play Tottenham in Shanghai.