Manchester United win Premier League award despite disappointing season

By Mirror: Saturday, May 18th 2019 at 13:07 GMT +3 | Football
United's grounds staff have been given recognition for their hard work. [Courtesy]

Manchester United's players might not have landed any silverware this season but the club hasn't ended the campaign completely empty-handed after winning the award for Premier League Grounds Team of the Season.

The Red Devils had a difficult season in the Premier League and missed out on a place in next season's Champions League after a dismal end to the campaign saw them finish sixth, over 30 points behind champions Manchester City .

They also struggled in the cup competitions, losing to Derby County in the third round of the EFL Cup before suffering quarter-final exits in both Europe and the FA Cup at the hands of Barcelona and Wolves .

Following United's poor end to the season, which brought just two wins from the final ten games in all competitions, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to oversee significant changes to his first-team squad over the summer as he looks to get the club back on track.

Despite issues on the pitch, the club continues to maintain its high standards behind the scenes with grounds manager Tony Sinclair and his team receiving recognition for maintaining the pristine playing surface at Old Trafford.

The Premier League Grounds Team of the Season accolade is judged using marks awarded by referees and match delegates throughout the season based on factors such as pitch usage and environmental conditions.

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"It's unbelievable," Sinclair told the club's official website . "It’s something we are immensely proud of as a team.

“The condition of the pitch in the last four, five, six years, has come on tremendously.

"It’s a great achievement for the team of staff. That’s first and foremost.

"I always make sure I acknowledge the staff we have because you need a good team behind you. I have definitely got that.”

Although the 2018-19 season has come to an end, the hard work hasn't stopped for Sinclair and his team, who are also responsible for maintaining the surfaces at the club's other facilities, with preparations for next season already underway.

“From the training ground to the stadium, we have 23 natural pitches and five synthetic pitches to look after,” Sinclair added.

“They all need to be renovated and prepared for 1 July and pre-season training, and then we have the stadium pitch itself to work on for the first match in August.

"It never stops. If anything, the constant challenge we have, to make sure the pitches are right, gets harder during the summer.”

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