Jose Mourinho has noted that Manchester United have travelled to Dubai this week in order to observe a proper recovery process following a hectic festive period.
The 54-year-old’s side played ten games over a period of 31 days starting with a 3-1 win over Arsenal on December 2.
Such a busy period – unique to England while France, Spain, Italy and Germany among others had winter breaks – has caused injuries to the likes of Antonio Valencia and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
And Mourinho, speaking after the 2-0 win over Derby last Friday, explained that the warm-weather training camp in the Middle East was designed to help players fully recover from their recent travails.
“We need to recover but at the same time we also need to train because during this crazy time we have not had many times to work on details that you want to work on,” he said.
“It’s been more about the recovery from the match and the travelling and the preparations for the next one without time to work.
“If we can have time to have a good, nice week to recover some injured players and tired players and, at the same time, work on some tactical details I think it would be good for the second part of the season.”
The Portuguese needs to do everything he can to ensure his players properly recalibrate after a truly punishing period and heading to Dubai therefore makes sense.
United have chosen to visit warmer climates to speed up recovery in the past, with David Moyes taking his side to Dubai in 2014. Sir Alex Ferguson also opted for trips to the Middle East in 2003, 2009 and 2013.
Muscles recover at a quicker rate when exposed to hot and cold temperatures, so expect players to enjoy plenty of ice-baths following training sessions in the warm Dubai sun (it’s winter over there as well, so temperatures aren’t going to hit 40 celsius or above but rather linger in the mid twenties) in order to help muscles relax and reduce the presence of lactic acid.
Supporters will hope that players who have played regularly over the last month, as well as injured pair Michael Carrick and Valencia, return to action against Stoke City fully replenished.