sport news news: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doubles workload to make them fit ...

Of all the statistics gathered by 's backroom staff during the first two weeks on tour, one in particular stands out.

The high-intensity work that the players have been subjected to so far in Perth and Singapore is 50 per cent up on the corresponding period last summer when Jose Mourinho put his squad through their paces.

This is what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was talking about when he promised a fitter, more robust United this season; one capable of carrying out the demanding game plan he wants from his team.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has doubled Manchester United's pre-season workload this summer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has doubled 's pre-season workload this summer

The feeling — some may say hope — at United is that Solskjaer's approach was responsible for the dramatic upturn in results after he replaced Mourinho in December, but a lack of fitness was to blame for the players' failure to maintain it during a dreadfully disappointing end to the season.

The goalless draw with Liverpool in February was seen as a watershed moment when three players — Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard — suffered hamstring injuries in the first half.

Solskjaer was forced to curb his approach and United were never quite the same again.

Tahith Chong (left) and Jesse Lingard (right) work with weights in the gym in Perth

Tahith Chong (left) and Jesse Lingard (right) work with weights in the gym in Perth

Marcos Rojo (left) and Andreas Pereira (right) take a drinks break during a training session

Marcos Rojo (left) and Andreas Pereira (right) take a drinks break during a training session

In private, he was alarmed by the condition of the squad he inherited from Mourinho, who in turn blamed fitness coach Stefano Rapetti. In public, Solskjaer has vowed to whip the players into shape with good, old-fashioned hard graft. 

'I can still remember when I wasn't able to walk down the stairs, you had to walk backwards,' said the United manager recalling pre-seasons under Sir Alex Ferguson. 'I don't think we've had them there yet.'

Maybe not, but the emphasis has certainly been on increasing the high-intensity training so that United are better adapted to a higher press and more possession-based style.

It was evident in Saturday's 1-0 win over Inter Milan at the National Stadium in Singapore. Young Mason Greenwood deservedly grabbed the headlines for scoring an excellent goal — his second off the bench in consecutive games — but Solskjaer was more delighted with the overall work ethic of his

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