break after playing two games involving long flights, particularly Chicharito in Mexico and Shinji Kagawa in Japan.
“The players who will miss the international trips, like Giggs, Anderson, Vidic, Büttner and Rafa will be key players in the run-in. I am also delighted to say that Paul Scholes is back in training, and he will play a part in keeping us fresh.”
Mental and physical fatigue can be hugely taxing, as United discovered when the unjust manner of the Champions League exit against Real Madrid led subsequently to a sluggish second-half in the FA Cup quarter-final clash with Chelsea. Sir Alex was delighted his side survived a late onslaught to stay in the competition and it was a timely reminder of the perils of tiredness in the run-in.
“My role becomes even more important in selecting the right teams, with freshness the operative quality,” says the boss. “It’s not necessarily putting out your best team, it’s picking the freshest.”