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We're in great shape, says Ben

3 June 2020

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Ben Osborn believes United's rigorous programme of training which has continued since football across the country was suspended in March, will give the Blades a great chance of hitting the ground running when the action restarts.

The former Nottingham Forest operator has revealed he and his team-mates are feeling in good nick following the introduction of contact training at the end of last month.

Osborn commented: "In phase one, I don't think we were allowed in groups of more than five, so it was all staggered time slots and it would be like a conveyer belt. You went in, did your pre-hab, then onto the football, then the running and then you'd go into the gym.

"You wouldn't really see any of the other groups unless they were walking down from the football into gym. That was more conditioned because there's only so much you could do. We'd do half an hour on the ball, but it was mainly focused on conditioning.

"Since phase two has begun, we're all in at the same time, but still social distancing. The first bit is in groups, but we're all be spread out on the astroturf.

"Getting back into training, we're allowed to do possessions and games and more like real training, but as soon as the session or drill ends it goes back to social distancing, which is a quite strange to get your head round, but there's cones set out where our water bottles would be, so you're always being reminded.

"The staff have been unbelievable. The way they had it set up at the start, we were in small groups and it was a staff member looking after each section, so they would stay in their one place, give you the right information, everyone knew where they were going, you'd get told where to park, your set time to come in and everything was set up just ready to go.

"I speak to a few lads at other clubs and it seemed as though our set up was spot on."

Osborn is now looking forward to getting more minutes into the legs in the coming days as preparations continue to intensify ahead of the first game back against Aston Villa later this month.

The versatile performer added: "We've had a rigorous programme when we were sent home during lockdown. I think we only had a week off, so other than that we were keeping as fit as we could and the sessions have been tough, three or four a day.

"As soon as we were allowed back into the training ground, we were in most days just gearing up. It's been tough just like pre-season, if not harder and we're just starting to get some minutes in with a behind closed doors game between ourselves.

"I think they might be trying to (arrange friendly matches next), if it gets passed by the Premier League and the Government, but at the moment, we're just gearing up the minutes.

"It was 50 minutes the other day, 70 minutes on Tuesday and next week we'll have a couple of more games to try and get that intensity back."

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