Victor Lindelof has admitted he is unsure why Manchester United have struggled during the first few weeks of the new season.
United ended last season fairly strongly, climbing to a third place finish in the Premier League. They also made it to the semi-finals of the Europa League and FA Cup after football resumed in June.
However, they have endured a difficult start to the 2020-21 campaign. They lost to Crystal Palace in their season opener – a game in which Lindelof gave away a penalty due to a handball – before requiring a penalty of their own 10 minutes into stoppage time to beat Brighton.
The worst came a week later when Tottenham condemned them to a shock 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford. It left United 16th in the Premier League table going into the international break.
During the time since then, Lindelof has returned to action with Sweden. However, even at international level, he has been on the receiving end of a negative scoreline, playing all 90 minutes of a 2-1 loss to Croatia.
While on international duty, Lindelof has been able to reflect on the past few weeks with United.
“If it’s because we played for a long time in Europe [last season] and didn’t get the time off we usually get, is difficult to answer.
“We probably had 1-2 weeks together before the league started and we haven’t got to the level we’ve wanted. But I think after this international break, a lot of players are back and ready to perform at the level we can.”
Lindelof denies physical concerns
There had been concerns that United’s hectic schedule had led to Lindelof becoming exhausted. However, the defender does not believe he is struggling physically.
“Not for me personally,” he said. “I have been set to play two matches in this selection [for Sweden in October].
“The body feels good. It’s getting started now. Yesterday it felt very good in the legs anyway.
“If Janne [Andersson] wants me to play, I have absolutely no problem playing another match.”
Lindelof also denied that United were concerned about him playing three times in one week for Sweden during the current international break.
“We can talk sometimes when it comes to certain selections,” he added.
“Like the last selection, I had a talk with Janne before and we agreed that I would only play one match because I felt that the body did not agree to play two games. But for this selection, there has been nothing.”
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