Pre-season training resumed in a new setting and a new country on Friday morning, with the squad beginning its work in Malaysia ahead of our second tour match this Sunday.
Thursday was a travel day, with a two-hour flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur in mid-afternoon, ensuring there was almost 36 hours of rest after Wednesday night's match before training began at the 68,000-capacity Shah Alam Stadium, on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital. It is a different venue from the 85,000 Bukit Jalil in which we played two years ago, because that stadium is undergoing renovation.
Jose Mourinho and his staff were out early to set up the 90-minute session which again had a heavy focus on competition and possession, with the squad split between two groups for the first section, trying to keep the ball in a small area under pressure.
After that, there was a half-pitch exercise with three goals at one end, each occupied by either Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer or Jamal Blackman, with one team attempting to score and the other attempting to prevent them and keep the ball for as long as possible. The aim for the attacking side was to get into the habit of shifting the ball quickly from side to side, creating space out wide in which to hurt the opposition.
All this was taking place under the mid-morning sun, which with the humidity of Malaysia is felt all the more. There were, of course, a few tired legs at the end of a testing session, but they will be back in the stadium this evening with it all to do again.