The aforementioned Europa League game against Astana granted opportunities for Dylan Levitt and Di’Shon Bernard to get a first taste of senior action. They have also been working hard to ensure they will not be adversely affected by the break in routine.
“Hopefully, it will be over soon,” said Welsh midfielder Levitt.
“Everyone cannot get too down about it and we’ve all got to stay positive. The staff are doing all they can. They keep checking on us, near enough every day, and not just the coaches but [other staff like] Chris McCready and Mark Hulse too. We’re all still in touch and do core sessions on Monday and Friday.
”It’s been a big benefit because it makes you want to be determined to keep going. It’s that motivation to keep going, even though you’re off. We filled in end-of-season reports on WebEx [with Wood and Quinton Fortune] and went over the season. It was what we’ve done well, individually and as a team, and what things maybe need to be improved on.
“One hundred per cent the highlight for me was playing in Kazakhstan. It gave me a massive boost and was a big moment, having coming through with Mason [Greenwood], Angel [Gomes], Jimmy [Garner] and, a bit later, Di’Shon [Bernard] as well. We were all on the pitch and it was quite exciting really!
Centre-back Bernard is another of the squad who has been focused on the future and taking time to reflect on his progress thus far.
”I’ve been staying healthy,
“ he said. ”You can’t fall into bad habits when at home. My family have been helping me and we have video calls and gym sessions, plus one-to-one reviews. Literally, everyone is missing football and not doing it all has been completely weird.
“I always review myself but try to take in how far I’ve come from getting released at Chelsea, working hard to come to United and making my debut. I’m really grateful to all the coaches who have given me the help to get to this point. That debut will stick with me, probably forever.