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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United are considering playing a friendly game during the international break, to help some players improve their match fitness.
Players like Tom Heaton, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones gained their first minutes of the campaign in that workout against the Clarets, and Solskjaer says the club could do something similar in the days after our trip to Molineux to face Wolves on Sunday (kick-off 16:30 BST).
We caught up with the boss at Carrington, and asked him to explain how he and his staff planned to use the first international period of 2021/22.
“There might be a behind-closed-doors game again,” replied Ole. “It’s time to give them some time off as well – the ones who don’t go on internationals – because most of them have done the whole pre-season, so they’ve been working diligently and have been terrific.
“Some of them, when you’re an international, then it means you’re playing well. The ones who don’t have internationals will get the break and they deserve a few days off definitely, then we go again on the Monday.
“We’ll have the start of the week training then give them a long weekend off.”
United have just shy of two weeks between the Wolves game and our next Premier League test – a home match with Newcastle United on Saturday 11 September (kick-off 15:00 BST).
During that time, several players – like Lingard, Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Luke Shaw, who will be with England – will get valuable minutes for their countries.
But others not involved at international level may use the potential behind-closed-doors match to keep their fitness well-tuned.
The break also gives some of the Reds’ injured players – Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Alex Telles among them – extra time to work through their rehabilitation programmes.