The international break came at the perfect time for Manchester United with the team securing a last-gasp victory over Brentford to ease the pressure on the manager while also allowing the club to take stock of their injury situation.
Quite a few players are sidelined long-term while a few are nearing fitness but remain in need of match practice. There are other fringe players who also could do with some much-needed game time.
As has become the norm under Erik ten Hag, the club conducted yet another behind-closed-doors friendly, this time against League One opposition Barnsley.
Another behind-closed-doors friendly for United
The Peoples Person had reported yesterday about the friendly encounter and the fact that academy graduate Kobbie Mainoo will not be part of the contest.
Sergio Reguilon narrowly missed out on the chance to be part of the Brentford matchday squad and was scheduled to take part in the game.
As per The Manchester Evening News, Antony and Donny van de Beek started the game as they looked to build match fitness.
The Brazilian was missing for almost a month after allegations of domestic abuse emerged with United stating the winger would only return once investigations were over.
Donny, Antony start for United
He has since come back and made a couple of substitute appearances and the game was a perfect chance to build some match fitness as Ten Hag is desperate for a right winger.
As for Van de Beek, he was excluded from the Champions League squad and the club tried desperately to offload him in the summer but to no avail.
He has garnered a grand total of 21 minutes for United this season across two substitute appearances and he will be trying to prove his worth to his former Ajax coach.
The versatile midfielder did score a goal with United emerging comfortable 3-0 winners with the team having plenty of U21 players, just as Barnsley.
Whether the goal does anything for his prospects this season remains to be seen. There is also a lack of clarity about whether any other first-team star took part in the contest.