Spanish duo Juan Mata and Ander Herrera have spoken about the importance of pre-season as the Manchester United players step up their fitness levels ahead of the new campaign.
Speaking to ManUtd.com ahead of the squad's trip to the United States for Tour 2018, presented by Aon, the midfield pair highlighted the importance of returning to peak physical condition to ensure the squad hits the ground running in 2018/19.
“I think the tour is very good because you can mix between cardio work and also tactical work,” Herrera said.
“During the pre-season you have to get your energy back and recharge your batteries for the new season, so it's a very important time.”
Back in the USA!Video
The Reds will face five opponents during the tour, including Champions League holders Real Madrid and fierce rivals Liverpool. They're mouthwatering clashes but Mata admits fitness will be the main focus.
“To be honest, these games are for fitness reasons and some tactical training because you want to be ready for the important games in the season.
”But it's always nice to play against the biggest teams in the world and it's great for the American fans that they get to see such big games.
Herrera agreed with his team-mate on how fitness is key for the United players at this stage of the season, but also added that the Reds will be eager to continue the impressive record from previous pre-season tours.
“During pre-season you have to get your energy back and recharge your batteries for the new season, so it's a very important time.
”The result is not the most important thing during these games, but of course we always enjoy playing against big teams and you want to perform well and win big if you can.
Herrera added: ”During my time at United, pre-seasons have gone very well in terms of results, but it's not the most important thing.
“But if we can win then all the better!”
TOUR MATCH TICKETS
Match tickets for all of United’s games in the United States in July are now on general sale. Don’t miss out, visit manutd.com/tour2018tickets to secure your place on Tour 2018, presented by Aon.
WATCH TOUR 2018 ON MUTV
If you can't be there in person, every single moment of the matches will be shown on MUTV, which is available via Sky or Virgin Media in the UK and Ireland or online globally at MUTV.com or through the MUTV app.