Fri. Jan 22nd, 2021

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Manchester United change training schedule amid fixture congestion

3 min read

Manchester United have scheduled more team meetings this month amid the fixture congestion.

United have eight games in 24 days, starting with today’s Premier League trip to West Ham, in December and the only potential midweek break they could have over the next couple of months is if they fail to reach the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup in January.

“You might tweak something tactically as we tried to do that against Southampton and that worked well,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said of United’s match preparations this month. “You think about which spaces the opponent leaves you to attack in to but you also find a way of defending against them and you also have to stay true to your main ideas.

“That’s the biggest thing – you have 80%, even more so, on your own tactics but you have to think how can we solve the problems they might cause us and how can we maybe tweak something and cause them a problem. We have got our own set style of play, of course, but we analyse every opponent differently and we tweak things differently.


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“With this congestion, you don’t get a lot of time to work on the pitch so you have to do it in meetings and the boys have been very focused in the meetings.

“Sometimes when you play late on, say 5.30 even or 8pm, you might have a session in the morning. There’s loads of different things we have to do but we have to try and stay true to our own identity.”

West Ham are fifth in the Premier League under former United manager David Moyes, whose turbulent 10 months at the club ended with his dismissal before the 2013-14 season ended.

Solskjaer is approaching the two-year anniversary of his appointment as United manager and has suffered two quarter-final defeats and three semi-final defeats in the club’s longest trophyless spell since the late 80s.

The United hierarchy admire Mauricio Pochettino and the Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel was linked with the United managerial post on Friday as he approaches the final six months of his contract. Despite the intense scrutiny, Solskjaer finds the fascination with United to be reassuring.

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Manchester United were hit by a double Neymar sucker-punch as they lost 3-1 to Paris Saint-Germain in their crucial Champions League match on Wednesday.

It means United travel to Germany needing a point from their final group match against RB Leipzig to qualify for the last 16.

Before then, the Reds have a tricky Premier League trip to West Ham to negotiate at the weekend.

MEN Sport will bring you all the build-up to Saturday’s match. You can have it all delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter. Just put your email address in the sign-up box at the top of this article, or simply follow this link. It’s free and only takes a few seconds.

“You would not want it any different because that comes from the passion our fans have, the passion the media has about us, our history, our success and the hunger for success and the demands and standards we have set,” he stressed. “So we are lucky in that respect that we have so many fans and you just have to withstand or enjoy whatever pressures that will give you.

“We’re working towards that with the players as well that are getting used to playing for Man United. They are different demands than playing for other teams.”

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