Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ole: Keeping your squad fit is so important

Monday 11 January 2021 22:30

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the current restrictions in England are actually having a positive impact on his players’ fitness levels.

The boss has been fortunate with injuries this season and has only had one long-term absentee this term, in Phil Jones.

While there have been plenty of knocks along the way for his squad, by and large, Solskjaer has had plenty of options to choose from when picking his starting XIs.

The boss could have an almost full roster to choose from for Tuesday’s Premier League meeting with Burnley and, ahead of the clash, he explained that the current restrictions imposed by Covid-19 are enabling his players to rest and recover more efficiently.
Watch Ole’s press conference Video

Watch Ole’s press conference

Solskjaer previews Tuesday’s trip to Burnley, which kickstarts a crunch run of Premier League fixtures…

“I think it’s going to be very important if you’ve managed to keep a fit squad,” Ole told reporters in his pre-match press conference. “It’s not just about fitness injury-wise, of course – it’s also the Covid. You can see teams being really badly hit at times.

“Our boys have done well in that regard. We’ve not really lost many. The players themselves have done better. 

“You’ve got less things to do outside football than you might,” he continued. “You stay at home, you rest and recover and maybe for your own mental health you do some things back in your own gym. You’re working and looking after yourself. I think that’s also a factor here.

“I don’t think they’d be going out too much anyway, but you’ve got no chance of going out [at the moment]. Hopefully they’ll find out that we can live this way for the rest of our careers and get the most out of our careers!”
The boss also feels the club’s backroom staff have helped play a huge part in our impressive injury record this term. 

"The fitness staff and medical staff here… we’ve done things inside the club that I think have improved us,” he said via video link. “[We’ve] brought the right people in, put them in the right positions. I’m very pleased with the work everyone has done.”

It’s not just injuries that a Premier League manager has to concern himself with, but also suspensions.
Again, the Reds have tended to steer clear of picking up too many cards this season and none of Ole’s first-team squad have accumulated five bookings in the league this term, which results in an automatic one-game suspension.

Yet, with four yellow cards to his name so far in 2020/21, Harry Maguire could miss our next match if he were to have his name taken against Burnley, meaning he’d be unavailable for the weekend trip to Liverpool. Despite that, Ole assured reporters that our skipper would feature against the Clarets.

“Harry is playing definitely, that’s for sure,” he told reporters. “If he is fit. If he doesn’t wake up tomorrow with an illness. So you can only take three points from the game that you are playing in. You cannot put your eyes on games beyond this one.”