Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals players’ code on Zoom and WhatsApp was key for Manchester United stars to keep them from coming back too heavy as they hit the ground looking for a place in the Champions League after the lockdown
- Manchester United have been impressed since football returned under Project Restart
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained how the players’ code was key to their success
- Determination to stay in top shape has been a topic of conversation
- Players have actively kept in touch with Zoom and WhatsApp during their free time
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has credited a player code to keep his Manchester United team fit during lockdown because they wouldn’t tolerate any of their teammates getting out of shape.
United have developed well after the restart, extending their unbeaten record to 16 games in all competitions prior to Thursday’s visit to Aston Villa.
Solskjaer believes this is a testament to the professionalism of the players during the three-month shutdown when they followed individual training programs at home, and he revealed that the team does not want to let each other down by failing to meet the high standards that are asked.
The Manchester United player code is key to their success, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
The United boss said players didn’t want to disappoint teammates with their conditioning
“We started the season well after a good break and they had worked well in the preseason,” said Solskjaer. “Then we did well after the layover in February, and now we have done well after this lockdown.
“We do have a group I trust. They take care of themselves, they stay on Zoom calls and WhatsApp groups together, and they demand from each other because if one or two disappoint themselves, they will abandon the team.
‘I am very happy with the culture in that group. They are good boys and they do not return with 15 kg overweight because those days are over. ‘
United has looked keen since football returned and the days of overweight stars are ‘over’
It is unlikely to be a problem this year anyway, as United will have a very short break between this season and the new.
Solskjaer’s side will complete their Premier League campaign in Leicester on July 26 and could potentially be seen in the FA Cup final on August 1.
Then they return to the Europa League action with the final of the rescheduled league taking place in Cologne on August 21 – possibly leaving a few weeks before the end of this season and the start of the 2020-21 campaign in September.
Players’ contracts provide for three weeks of uninterrupted vacation pay, but in these exceptional circumstances this may not be the case, and the United boss admits to carefully managing his squad’s condition.
“It will be an interesting break, or no breakeven,” added Solskjaer. “Of course it depends on how far we get in the Europa League, after that it is the international break.
Solskjaer’s side is desperate for the Champions League finish and is well positioned
“We cannot give the players the holiday they need and deserve. We’ll probably have to give that during the season or next season.
“We have to find holes, rotate and release them for a week. It is more important than ever that we take care of and rotate the players, and we certainly have a strong squad.
“Hopefully we can challenge. When we enter the Champions League, that makes it even more difficult. It’s a delicate one and when do you give them time? They need a mental and physical break.