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Smalling: “A good pre-season is essential if you want to do well”

Photo: Getty Images

The pre-season tour is quickly coming up for Manchester United and this year will see us go to America for the second year running. Last year was Chris Smalling’s first tour for United and he spoke about his excitement for the imminent tour and the show-piece final fixture against Barcelona on July 30. The season will open on August 13 for Manchester United so there isn’t much time between the tour finishing and the season starting, so good preparation may well be essential for United considering we face our top 5 rivals in our first 9 fixtures of the campaign.

“We’re away for quite a while so it’s important we make strides in terms of our fitness levels while we’re there. The season only begins a few weeks after we return from America so we want to be approaching full fitness by the end of it. A good pre-season is essential if you want to do well.”

The game against Barcelona should make for a great finish to what will hopefully be a positive tour for United. With new signings Phil Jones and Ashley Young already wrapped up and a De Gea deal looking likely, it will be important that they get the time to bond with the team ahead of the new season, especially De Gea. The goalkeeper will play in the final of the U21’s Championship tonight against Switzerland and have a small break before jetting off to America with Manchester United but if there is one aspect of Van Der Sar’s game that he will have to emulate it is his communication skills and ability to dominate his area.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’ve had the chance to play against some top teams during my time at United already and I’ve loved every minute of it. This tour game against Barcelona might only be a friendly but you always relish playing against the best players and this will be no different.”

It was incredible to see our new signings Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling settle down so quickly at United last summer and I am hoping that the new arrivals at United will follow suit. Both Hernandez and Smalling scored in last season’s tour and it proved a catalyst for great things that came swiftly for the pair in the subsequent campaign.

Full story: Manchester United Official Website

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