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Mike Phelan: We want Manchester United stars to be tough

by Marwan Harraz

Manchester United coach Mike Phelan has revealed what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the players working on in training, claiming they want the club’s stars to be mentally and physically tough.

Many fans felt the legendary Norwegian’s superb start to his tenure was ruined by a poor end mostly due to fitness issues.

Solskjaer’s intense tactics eventually took it’s toll on his United stars with several of them picking up injuries before they limped to a sixth placed finish.

The former lethal striker’s side looked leggy towards the end of the last season and it was no coincidence their form dropped off heavily too.

Phelan and Ole were once reported to have been shocked at how terrible the squad’s fitness was when they arrived and it’s believed that’s mostly what they’ve been working on in pre-season.

According to the club’s official website, Mike said: “We’re piecing everything together. We’ve asked the players to do more and we’re getting that response from them.

“You can see the intensity in training is high. We need to keep pushing and pushing. We’re not just preparing them for the first game of the season [against Chelsea on 11 August] but preparing them for the season.

“We all know last season was difficult – a great start but poor finish. We need to make sure now that the energy, stamina and enthusiasm is in the players right from the start.

“It’s not just fitness. We want them to be mentally tough as well to experience what it really is about Manchester United – it’s right to the end, from start to finish.

“We had periods in games where we looked really at it and really strong but then faded. We need to get that Man United back, that goes right the way through 96 minutes, which is a game of football nowadays, and we’re preparing them for that.

“The players have to understand how it feels to be fatigued and then go again. We’re trying to get that into them, both in their minds and in their bodies.”

Hopefully Solskjaer can quickly prove the incredible start to his reign was not a fluke or a honeymoon period as Jose Mourinho called it.

The former Molde boss had Manchester United playing some of their most exciting football since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and fans are keen to see it replicated over a longer period of time with success surely to follow.

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