Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

Premier League TV rights fixture delay annoys Paul Scholes as Manchester United begin season two days late

Premier League TV rights fixture delay annoys Paul Scholes as Manchester United begin season two days late

By Dean Wilkins

Veteran playmaker Paul Scholes is burning to get Manchester United’s season going, but is frustrated by their fixture delay to the new campaign.

The Reds will begin their Premier League year at Everton on Monday August 20, after having their fixture moved for television coverage.

And after watching the other 18 teams kick-start their seasons, Scholes will be eager to make sure they win at Goodison.

"It's happened in the past sometimes," Scholes told MUTV.

"Everton away is a big game and it's one TV will want to televise live. It's just the way it is. It's a bit frustrating as you want to get going as fast as you can with a Saturday game and get some points under your belt.

“But we'll have to wait until Monday night and hopefully we can win the game."

United’s pre-season tour begins on Monday as the team fly to South Africa for a match in Durban – and Scholes expressed how important the games are to their title hunt.

"We've only been doing two or three days so we're still a way off being ready for a game," he added.

"Hopefully, in the next ten days, we'll be ready and raring to go. It is difficult. Ask any footballer: it's the most difficult part of the season where you're mainly running with a little bit of football here and there.

“It's vital and we all know what we need coming up to a new season.

"I wouldn't say I look forward to it but I know it's something we've got to do and, in two or three weeks, we'll feel the benefit from it.

"The football bit is enjoyable. When you've been off seven or eight weeks now, to come back and just be playing football again is nice. Obviously, it's tough on the lungs and tough on the legs but we'll be back in the swing of things in a fortnight or so."

Scholes – who at the end of last retired – came back in January and played a key role in helping United maintain their title hunt.

But having missed last summer’s preparations, Scholes admitted he is happy to be back.

"This time last year, I was in Portugal somewhere," he said. "I was glad I wasn't involved in pre-season but, 12 months on, I'm looking forward to it and enjoying being part of it. Hopefully we can have a successful season.

"As I say, we know it's a tough part of the season to get all the running done but it's great seeing the lads again and mixing together. It's something you miss when you've been away for a while. The friendlies are a massive part of it.

"You can do all the training you like but it's games where your fitness really counts and we've been to South Africa before and know they're tough games.

“We'll be well on our way once we've had a couple of games out there and the match in China, plus the next three games as well.

“It's all about the fitness at this time of year so we're hoping we can come out of those games feeling a bit stronger and fitter."

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