Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he will be using the new five substitutes rule to its fullest extent when the season resumes next week.
Premier League clubs will be allowed to have nine substitutes on the bench and use five, as long as they are brought on in a maximum number of three substitution breaks.
Solskjaer confirmed he expects his entire squad to be fit for the first game against Spurs but that some would be unlikely to last the entire 90 minutes.
‘Well, we hope everybody’s going to be ready for the first game’ he told manutd.com.
‘We’ve had time out so I don’t think we can expect that those lads who’ve missed lots of the football can last the full game.
‘But now the rules have changed, we can use five subs and have nine on the bench. I think that’s helpful because footballers, after being out for so long, going into competitive games will be a challenge for them and we have to look after them injury-wise and fitness-wise.
The boss admitted that the gruelling fixture schedule means that he will have no chance other than to rotate the side.
‘We can’t just flog one player and say to them, “you play every game and every minute” because it might be a period when we have to rotate quite often.’
‘We have a big squad, a strong squad and at the moment, loads of these players can prepare for the first game and hope to play in the first game and then if you don’t play in the first, you might play the second or the third.
‘So that’s what it is about at Man United, being in the squad, being in the team, being ready when you’re asked upon.’
Hitting the ground running is something that Solskjaer believes will be key to success in the mini-season to come.
‘It does feel like a new season but then again, the first two games against Tottenham and Sheffield United are vital for the league standings, the table.
‘And it’s a short season, it’s only nine games [in the Premier League] so can we get as many points and good performances as possible.
‘If we do get a good spell now, we could end up with some trophies and something to cheer about.’
The Norwegian also admitted that it will be hard to play without the fans in the stadium to cheer the team on.
‘We miss them. The players miss them, we as coaches miss them. I miss and we will miss the matchday atmosphere. Of course, that is special.
‘When you go to Old Trafford, that is special. It’s not a cliché that our fans play a big part in our home games and even away games.’
Rash is back! As United prepare to restart their season and do battle on three fronts, top scorer Marcus Rashford is fit and back to take his place in the side. But how much do you know about the United star? Take our quiz below to test yourself.