Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes that the dip in form in matches played at home could be due to a change in the way the team prepares for games.
So far this season the Red Devils have lost both of their home games, to Crystal Palace and Spurs, while winning all of their five away games, including Tuesday’s tough Champions League tie in Paris.
And with Chelsea visiting Old Trafford today, it is a blip that Solskjaer is desperate to put right.
Whilst the lack of fans both in home and away games reduces any side’s home field advantage considerably, the manager believes that not spending the night before home games together could also be having an impact.
Before Covid, the team spent the eve of home matches at the Lowry in Salford, where morning team meetings would be conducted. They would then travel to the game together by coach. Under the current circumstances they stay in their own homes and travel to Old Trafford individually.
For away games, however, they still travel the day before the match and stay overnight in a hotel, as was the case before lockdown.
‘We need to look at the way we prepare,’ the boss admitted at yesterday’s press conference (via The Times).
‘Maybe it’s something I’ve got to deal with.
‘The whole lockdown period has made us do things differently at home so we might have to do it in a different way.
‘After the lockdown with Covid, we’ve stayed at home, we’ve had different routines coming into games. I’ve just got to look at everything, how the players prepare, because it’s been noticeable how well we’ve done away from home.’
In fact, Solskjaer has already made the change as the team all stayed at the Lowry again last night.
The match kicks off at 5.30pm UK time.
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