REUTERS - Manchester United’s packed pre-season schedule with seven matches to be played in a little over two weeks will boost players’ fitness and prepare them for the start of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, defender Phil Jones has said.
United, who finished sixth in the league last season, start their pre-season fixtures with a five-match tour of the United States where they face Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The Europa League winners round out their tour with a trip to Norwegian side Valerenga in Oslo before a trip to Ireland where they face Italy’s Sampdoria.
“The more matches you play, the more match-fit you are and seven games will give everyone a chance to get minutes under their belts. You need everyone at a good level for the start of the season,” Jones said on the club’s official website. (www.manutd.com)
The tour will be the second under manager Jose Mourinho, who joined the club last May, and Jones says that the Portuguese will have every detail of the tour planned out.
“We know exactly what the manager expects from us and he knows the players inside and out. He’ll have organised this pre-season period exactly how he wants it - when we’ll train, when we’ll rest and when we’ll have commercial work to do,” Jones said.
“I‘m sure it will be a great tour and I‘m looking forward to it.”
After their pre-season run, United take on Champions League winners Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Macedonia on Aug. 8, four days before the start of the new league campaign.
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Ireland