Manchester United return to training with Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who is preparing for Watford

Manchester United’s team returns to full training on Monday after being given the opportunity of a week off at the start of the international break.

United are in poor form after losing six of their last 12 games and they have suffered back-to-back defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City at Old Trafford, conceding seven goals in the process and failing to score.

Players who have not been called up for international service usually get a break for a significant part of the first week, and during these fourteen days they have been given time off all week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær flew to Norway on Monday with his wife and two sons, and he has spent the week at home recharging his batteries. It is understood he will return to Manchester over the weekend to begin preparations for the trip to Watford.

Solskjær is expected to be responsible for the trip to Vicarage Road despite the increasing pressure he comes under. The Norwegian only narrowly escaped being fired after the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool on 24 October.

He stabilized the ship with a convincing victory at Tottenham, but since then United had to save a late draw after a disappointing performance at Atalanta and were then extensively outplayed by City in the Manchester derby.

But Solskjær is clinging to his post at the moment, with the lack of a clear replacement a stumbling block to making a change.

United’s poor form has caused them to drop to sixth place in the Premier League, five points from the top four. They desperately need a result against the Hornets at the start of a difficult week, which includes a trip to Spain to face Villarreal on Tuesday and then a clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

After being given a week off, members of the United squad who are not away on international service will begin their preparations for the trip to Watford on Monday.

The rest of the squad will return during the week, with Harry Maguire and England’s international commitments ending Monday night.

Portugal’s crucial last World Cup qualifier takes place on Sunday night, with Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Serbia.

After the defeat to City, Solskjær said that the international break could have come at a good time for his besieged team.

“We are humans and when you lose a game of football, there is no better feeling than winning a game,” he said.

“Hopefully those who go away do that, and for us it’s about Watford. We have to come out against Watford like a properly injured animal.

“The short answer is that it has come at a good time for us. As a group, we have had a difficult period, we have come through it, but this was a big step back.”

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