Manchester United captain Harry Maguire explains experiences as team return to group training
- Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has detailed his experiences after returning to group training today.
- This latest update comes as Project Restart continues, with 5th-placed Manchester United eager to finish the season.
This week marks the first time EPL teams have been permitted to train in small groups at their respective training grounds since football was suspended indefinitely in March.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced tournaments and competitions to either be suspended, rescheduled or cancelled altogether in recent months. However, the EPL want to finish the remaining 2019-20 fixtures and this is a significant step in being able to do so.
On Tuesday, the UK recorded 2,412 new COVID-19 cases and a further 545 deaths - with the death total surpassing 35,000 across the nation.
As we reported earlier this week, the UK's Project Restart plans have been in full flow over the past few weeks. All 20 EPL clubs, including Manchester United, unanimously agreed to begin socially distant group training sessions from Tuesday onwards.
On the first day back engaged in small sessions, Maguire said:
"There's a lot less people at the training ground when we go in. Today I was in a group of four, working with one coach, so not many people - you've got a lot of space, big areas, not going really close to anyone.
"The main thing is getting the work in, it was a tough session, I've come home, now I'm relaxed and it's all in the bank. Looking forward to tomorrow."
Those were quotes taken from a snippet video posted on Manchester United's Twitter account earlier, which you can view here:
Martial, Pogba feature as Manchester United return
Daniel James, Andreas Pereira, Diogo Dalot, Timothy-Fosu Mensah and Sergio Romero were among the players pictured in training completing various drills.
But supporters were particularly excited to see Manchester United's French duo Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba as they also trained under the revised guidelines.
Maguire continued, by describing how the different sessions are planned in timeslots.
"There's slots all the way throughout the day, so some people will be in the afternoon. I feel sorry for the boys who are doing the afternoon today with the weather, so I'm sure it will be tough running out there. I think every 30 minutes we have a different slot and each is taken by a different coach."
Although these unprecedented times have caused lengthy periods of isolation, the Manchester United man stressed the importance of returning to familiar surroundings.
"It's obviously strange and something that we're not used to, but at the moment it's just getting the base fitness, the physical fitness and I think it's good mentally as well to come into the training ground and get used to the surroundings again."
Manchester United were just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the EPL table when play was officially suspended on March 14. When the campaign does resume, they have tricky fixtures including games against Tottenham, Sheffield United and Leicester.