The Man Utd player topping the fitness charts in Solskjaer's tough pre-season schedule

The Man Utd player topping the fitness charts in Solskjaer's tough pre-season schedule

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been putting his Man Utd squad through their paces (Pic: GETTY)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been whipping his squad into shape on their pre-season tour.

Manchester United started off in Australia before heading to Singapore to play Inter Milan on Saturday.

Their next game is against Tottenham in China in midweek – and Solskjaer’s men will be working hard in training in the build-up to the game.

He was left disappointed by their fitness levels last season, with hamstring injuries suffered by Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata early on in last season’s 0-0 draw at home to rivals Liverpool in February highlighting the issue.

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Solskjaer has responded by drawing up a new training plan for his squad.

Head of sports science Ed Leng has had a key say in United’s fitness programme, along with strength and conditioning coach Charlie Owen and head of athletic training, Richard Hawkins.

United’s fitness coaches claim the squad’s total running distance was up 10 per cent, with the high intensity element up 50 per cent compared to last year.

The squad did double training sessions in the cooler winter climate of Australia before heading to more warm and humid parts of east Asia.

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“Jesse Lingard has topped the charts in Man Utd’s tough pre-season testing”

And one player in particular has stood out.

Midfielder Jesse Lingard is said to have produced the most impressive stats of all the squad in pre-season.

Hawkins, United’s head of athletic services, said: “The work ethic has been phenomenal. 

“Day one we had a meeting with the players and presented three key points that we wanted from them – to train with intensity, be committed to the process and when they have a chance to recover, to do it well, do it properly. 

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard has impressed in Man Utd training (Pic: GETTY)

“Our key injuries we’ve had over the last few years have been groins and hamstrings, so one of our aims is to ensure everyone is available for the manager on day one of the season, so a lot of the focus initially in training is on those groin and hamstring areas.”

Leng added: “We’re trying to take them to the next level of performance. 

“We’re collecting objective data all the time but the other side of that is the subjective side, so it might be as simple as talking to the player every morning – how are they feeling? 

“The boys have been outstanding. From day one at the training ground we did a full week of work there, double training sessions, we’ve been in the gym pretty much every day – that’s prescribed gym work – and lads coming in off their own back for extra work as well.”

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard has out-trained his Man Utd pals so far this summer (Pic: GETTY)

United left-back Luke Shaw said: “Pre-season has been very difficult, especially Ole wanting to make sure we work very hard.

“But the sessions have been great and the match fitness is coming along nicely and the fans can expect a much better season than last. 

“This season I’m sure they’ll be celebrating again, hopefully with trophies at the end of it.”

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