By Tom Easterby
Fresh from trips to New Zealand and Germany, summer signing Jack Colback spoke to nufc.co.uk about what were two successful overseas jaunts.
With five goals scored and none conceded on the long-haul trip to the southern hemisphere, the footballing element of the tour was an unmitigated success.
However, the good results on the pitch were overshadowed by tragedy off it. United supporters John Adler and Liam Sweeney lost their lives in the MH17 air disaster and, as Colback explains, the victories served as a fitting homage to the two loyal supporters.
"It was a long way, but we got two good results while we were there. It was more about the tragic news about the two fans - it became a tribute to them," said the 24-year-old midfielder.
"We had to try and be professional and get our work done and we managed to get the results and came back and followed that up with a good win against Sheffield Wednesday.
"One thing the manager's said is that he wants us to be hurting teams and going on the attack. If we score a couple of goals then we won't sit back and we'll aim to push up on that. The new signings have got goals as well, which is good for them and the confidence in the team is good."
Two games in two days in the Schalke Cup followed last weekend, with the loss to Malaga tempered slightly by an impressive 3-1 victory over hosts Schalke 04 the following day.
Goals from Emmanuel Riviere, Rolando Aarons and Remy Cabella secured the win for United, who bounced back from the 3-1 reverse just 24 hours earlier.
"It was unusual for most of us - not many of us had encountered that before," said Colback of the back-to-back games in Gelsenkirchen.
"The Malaga game was a tough game, they were very good and I think maybe we were a bit tired coming into that game.
"But we managed to beat Schalke 3-1 and we performed well there. Friendlies are more about fitness and stuff but it's good to get positive results, and we'll be looking to do that again in the last two fixtures."
United face Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off) before rounding off their pre-season preparations with the visit of Real Sociedad to St. James' Park on Sunday (1.30pm kick-off).
Tickets for the Sociedad game are still available, from just £15 for adults and £5 for juniors. To secure your seat, click here.