Ole's Reds are ready to fuel the season finale

Sunday 09 February 2020 05:00

With the first-ever Premier League winter break upon us, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken the Manchester United squad to warmer climes for a six-day training camp in Spain.

The manager is excited to work with his players on the practice pitch for an extended period of time – a luxury at this stage of the season – and he believes the experience will fuel the remainder of our 2019/20 campaign, as the Reds compete in the top flight, Europa League and Emirates FA Cup.  
A break from the relentless fixture list that dominated December and January is absolutely priceless, providing an invaluable opportunity to recharge batteries that have been pushed to the limits in recent weeks. 
Several players who have been virtually ever-present in the starting XIs during that time were all afforded time off with their families earlier this week, while others members of the first-team squad continued to train with coaching staff as part of detailed individual programmes that were meticulously prepared.
On Saturday morning, a travelling squad gathered at the Aon Training Complex and later set off for the continent, ready to begin a camp that will focus on hard work, fitness, camaraderie and tactics.
Solskjaer says the goal is simple: for everyone to feel refreshed, energised and ready for the season finale. 
“We go to Spain and it’s a chance now to regroup and evaluate what has been good, because we haven’t had time to do too much training,” the manager told us before travelling. “So we’ll get a good seven, eight or nine days of training in before Chelsea and the rest of the season. Hopefully we’ll have two games every week, so that’s the biggest part - reintegrating and restarting again.”
Long-term absentees Axel Tuanzebe and Scott McTominay are with the group to boost their fitness, and Solskjaer hopes that the pair can join in the full sessions at some point – which would be a major boost. 
This trip to Europe also provides a chance for January signing Bruno Fernandes to settle in further, after joining from Sporting Lisbon and making his debut in the draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out.  
The Portuguese midfielder showed tantalising flashes of his potential in that first Old Trafford outing and it was interesting to hear from Solskjaer that our new no.18 wasn’t entirely happy with his performance, which only highlights the high standards that he keeps and adds to our squad. 
“I’ve kept in touch with him,” Ole told us. “He’s had a few days back home [in Portugal] to organise. He’s going to have to move house and say his goodbyes back home, so he’s ready. He wasn’t 100 per cent happy with his debut and there’s more to come, so that’s a good sign.”
Another January recruit, young goalkeeper Nathan Bishop, will also further embed himself with team-mates David De Gea and Sergio Romero, with Lee Grant back at home with an injury. 
Odion Ighalo is unfortunately not in Spain for reasons outside of the club’s control, as the manager confirmed to us, however the Nigerian loan signing is working hard at home and looking forward to joining in fully when the squad returns on Friday.
By that point, the lads will have completed a series of sweat-inducing, team-building, morale-boosting workouts at a facility that Solskjaer has frequented in the past. 
The squad arrived at the team hotel in Spain on Saturday afternoon.

The complex’s owner, Andres Roldan, admitted to us that he has a massive amount of respect for both United and the manager. 
“First of all, I have to say that Manchester United is not only a club,” he said on Saturday afternoon. “For me it is maybe the best club in the world.

“The numbers are the numbers, everybody can see it so it is clear, and we believe this. So we are very happy.”
Make sure you follow our channels throughout the week, for exclusive access to the warm-weather training camp in Spain.

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