Manchester United’s players feel they are coping with the differences to the usual routine at the Aon Training Complex, due to the new protocols in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Reds, like the other 19 Premier League teams, are having regular tests to see whether they have contracted the virus and are maintaining social distancing where possible. Very little time is spent at the complex, before and after the sessions, and everything is being done to ensure it is a clean and safe environment.
However, it is business as usual when it comes to the football side as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men prepare for our first match since 12 March, when facing Tottenham next week.
Bruno Fernandes, Angel Gomes, Nemanja Matic and Brandon Williams took time out to answer questions on how things are going behind the scenes.
“It’s easy,” said Matic.
“The new routine is to check our temperature every morning, wash our hands and keep our distance, as much as we can. But training is normal – we are now allowed contact training so it’s more or less the same. There are just a few different things before the training.”
Fernandes added on the fact that less time is being spent at the Aon Training Complex:
“The difference is just to arrive at different hours and not doing the same as we would in the past. The most important thing is to be training and we can be together at the training ground.”
Youngsters Gomes and Williams are clearly enjoying getting back into the swing of things after lockdown.
“The training is going well,” said Angel.
“It’s nice to be out with the lads again and playing football.”
Left-back Williams said:
“It’s good to be back and meet all the players as we try to get back to normal again. I’m looking forward to getting the first game started.”
When it comes to going home afterwards, Bruno and Nemanja have the same plan but usually with differing results!
“Sleep!” was the Portugal international’s simple answer on what he does. The Serbian, however, doesn’t have that luxury, explaining:
“I have to take care of my kids. They don’t always allow me to sleep. I play with them in the garden.”
The match with Spurs, despite being behind closed doors, provides a high-profile return to action for the Reds, who had been in great form before the enforced break.
“I am looking forward to starting again like we finished,” explained Fernandes.
“Maybe doing better than we did. I think it’s very important and the first game for us is a good opportunity to look forward to doing very well to finish the season.”
“I miss football and I miss the pressure before the game. It’s going to be strange, playing without supporters, but we have to adapt. At least we can compete with other teams and, hopefully, can start well.”