Maguire says Manchester United training was safe but strange

Sport

Manchester United center back Harry Maguire came away from his first day back at training impressed by the measures taken to keep the Red Devils safe.

Clubs unanimously agreed to a return to small-group training beginning Tuesday, and Maguire’s first steps on the pitch were Wednesday.

The England international said the balls were out immediately. With United’s players having spent so much of their coronavirus pause keeping fitness levels high, there wasn’t a need for a ton of running (though there was some).

Maguire, like anyone, would’ve felt uncertainty in the air as he headed to Carrington, but was put at ease once he stepped through the gates.

“It’s been a strange few months, but it has been a protocol which the club has followed. It seems such a safe environment. It’s our first day back today, but it seems so safe and everyone is respecting it so well, so long may that continue and I’m sure no one will have any problems.”

He spoke more about how odd this all feels, as it will for anyone who is used to working a certain way and has to find a new normal.

“It’s really strange. Obviously it’s different circumstances for us all. It’s been a strange couple of months, so we’re getting used to it, but we’re in a different building at the moment. We’re not in the normal training ground building, so we’re not in our own changing rooms. It’s literally we get to the training ground, we put our boots on, we go out on the field, we get in our cars and we drive home, so it’s more just getting the physical work in. The socializing isn’t really there, so there’s no banter between the lads which I’m sure the lads are missing. But it’s nice to get the boots back on, put the training kit back on and, like you said earlier, get the balls out.”

Maguire finished by imploring fans to stick to the script when it comes to flattening the curve in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Be patient. We’re all itching to get back out on the pitch and we know that when we do get back out on the pitch it’ll be bigger and better than ever. I’m sure, hopefully, we can give you lots of things to celebrate about.”