Football

Jones: Man United's hectic 
pre-season will boost players

Manchester United's packed pre-season schedule with seven matches in about two weeks will boost players' fitness and prepare them for the start of the EPL campaign, said defender Phil Jones.

United, who finished sixth in last season's EPL, start their pre-season fixtures with a five-match tour of the United States where they face Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona from July 16 to 27.

The Europa League winners round out their tour with a trip to Norwegian side Valerenga in Oslo on July 30 before a trip to Ireland where they face Italy's Sampdoria on Aug 2.

"The more matches you play, the more match-fit you are and seven games will give everyone a chance to get minutes under their belts," said Jones on the club website.

"You need everyone at a good level for the start of the season."

WELL PLANNED

The tour will be the second under manager Jose Mourinho, who joined the club last May, and Jones said that the Portuguese will have every detail of the tour planned out.

"We know exactly what the manager expects from us and he knows the players inside and out. He'll have organised this pre-season period exactly how he wants it - when we'll train, when we'll rest and when we'll have commercial work to do," Jones said. "I'm sure it will be a great tour and I'm looking forward to it."

United take on Champions League winners Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup in Macedonia on Aug 8, four days before the start of the new season. - REUTERS

eplManchester UnitedJose Mourinho