Solskjaer pleased United 'outran Liverpool' as he talks up fitness

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been talking up Manchester United’s fitness levels ahead of a tough stretch of away fixtures.

United face Partizan Belgrade, Norwich City, Chelsea, and Bournemouth over the next fortnight. It’s a tough run considering the last away fixture United won was in March.

Surely we can snap that unwanted record, and Solskjaer believes the team’s fitness provides the platform for us to do so.

He told the club website he was particularly pleased with the way United performed against Liverpool.

Solskjaer said: “We’ve trained hard and we’re fitter than we’ve ever been.


“In the Liverpool game we outran them and I don’t think anyone would have thought that about us last season. 

“The boys have got a different engine now and that was a big, big plus when you looked at how fit we were and how far we ran on Sunday. That was a big bonus to me and I think it’s going to take us through the next six games before the next international break.”

United follow up the quartet of away games with home fixtures against Partizan and then Brighton.

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Crucial stretch

United sides of the past would have had no problem with this run of games.

It was the sort of fixture list which Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams would have reeled off six wins to start really kicking on.

We are in a different place now obviously, there’s a lack of quality compared to sides of old, so Solskjaer may be right to look to fitness to try and give United the edge.

The first step is to simply get one away victory to begin with, which hopefully we can do against Partizan tonight.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Seeing the negatives without the benefits

United’s intense fitness regime is yet to reap rewards. The biggest impact so far has been negative.

The squad have picked up several frustrating injuries, with Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw among those to miss weeks of action with muscle strains. Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot have also missed time, along with Paul Pogba’s ongoing foot issue.

Solskjaer believes the draw with Liverpool was a case where the hard work did pay off in a positive manner.

With United playing twice a week in league and cups, a fit squad is essential. It’s not just about fitness. Improved tactics, quality of play and confidence are all factors too.

Let’s see if the next few weeks can shape United’s season in a positive way, and that we can all feel as buoyant as Solskjaer does about our prospects.

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