Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has admitted that the squad have work to do ahead of the 2022/23 season to become both physically fitter and mentally stronger than last term.
United recorded their lowest ever Premier League points tally last season, as well as conceding more league goals than they have done at any point in the post-1992 era.
Players were accused of lacking application under successive managers, but sub-par fitness was arguably mostly to blame, while heads often appeared to drop during difficult moments.
In Erik ten Hag, United have appointed a manager who famously demands a lot from his players in terms of fitness and tactics. Already this week, Victor Lindelof has commented on the intensity of the training sessions that have been put on by the new boss so far.
“I think training’s been tough,” Maguire told the club’s official website.
“As a group of players, we understand where we’re at physically. We’ve come back in good shape, but we need to get fitter. I think, on behalf of us last year, we know we need to do more: we need to be fitter, we need to be physically better and we need to be mentally better.”
The United skipper, who has been given the support of the new boss to keep the armband, explained that the focus so far has been on the physical but Ten Hag has also made sure to introduce the squad to some of his tactical ideas as well.
“The first couple of weeks is all about volume and working on yourself physically. We’ve also had a lot of tactical ideas thrown in there too,” he said.
“[Ten Hag] has high demands and it’s demands we look forward to and we’re willing to take on and learn and improve. I’m sure he’ll have a big impact at this club and, like I said, we’re all looking forward to working under him and we look forward to what the future brings.”
“It’s in every aspect that he demands a lot.”