Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had reportedly planned a gruelling, military-style training regime before Manchester United postponed training indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier League games have been suspended until May 2 at the earliest, but it appears highly optimistic the action could resume so soon after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK would be going into lockdown to fight the deadly virus.
United had been on an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions when football was suspended across Europe – so the Premier League halt came at the worst possible time for Solskjaer’s side as they were pushing to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
With players having to avoid contact as much as possible, behind-closed-doors friendlies and matches against younger age groups were out of the question.
So Solskjaer planned to ramp up his players’ fitness as much as possible by devising a military-style training camp, according to Metro.
The publication reports that, with the help of his backroom staff and conditioning coaches, former Red Devils striker Solskjaer came up with a pre-season-style training plan that focused on fitness drills and limited contact between players as much as possible.
The Norwegian was set to put his plan into action last week, but he did not get the chance as United had to cancel training indefinitely from last Tuesday onwards.
Players have instead been given individual training programmes and told to use their home gyms.
A statement from United read: “We continue to review the situation day by day, but in light of [the] evolving situation and latest governmental guidance the team will now be training individually away from the ATC [Aon training complex].”
Despite Premier League matches having been pencilled in for May 2, clubs are not expecting to return to full training until the beginning of that month, and are preparing for a jam-packed run of fixtures from around June 1 in a hectic bid to complete the campaign.