Chris Smalling has been impressed by the way a number of young Manchester United players have conducted themselves when given the opportunity to train with the first team this week.
A group of youngsters from the Academy have linked up with the first-team players who are not involved with their countries during the current international break.
Working closely with the young Reds has brought back memories for Chris, who feels it’s a chance for them to experience how Jose Mourinho’s team go about their daily business at the Aon Training Complex.
“It’s great to see their energy,” our no.12 told MUTV’s Mark Sullivan.
“It reminds you of when you were that young and you wanted to come in. We’ve had quite a lot of young players in and it’s nice to see. There must have been at least seven, eight or nine of the young ones.
“Again we’ll train with them tomorrow – I think we’re playing a bigger [sided] game. It gives every one of them an opportunity to see that pathway through [to the first team].”
'YOU TRAIN HARD IN THE WEEK AND HAVE THE WEEKEND OFF'
Eleven senior Reds are away with their national teams but the rest of Jose’s squad have reported for duty at the Aon Training Complex to continue working on their fitness, before preparations for the trip to Chelsea on Saturday 20 October step up next week.
Explaining the players’ typical programme during the international break, Chris said:
“This week it will be smaller and more intense activities. For example, there were quite a lot of small possession games yesterday. We'll do three-a-side, four-a-side, five-a-side, and it will be really more intense than, say, the week heading up to a game, because obviously you can get a lot more fitness in.”
He went on:
“Today we did quite a lot of one v ones, two v twos and small games like that, but it’s really more for fitness – getting work in that you can't get in, say, when you have two games in a week.
“Quite often you train during the week and then – depending what the schedule is – you sometimes have Saturday and Sunday off so you can enjoy the weekend, and then we’ll train from Monday all the way up to Chelsea. But you train very hard during the week and then have the weekend off.”