Jose Mourinho has provided the latest update on injury concerns at Manchester United after there were doubts regarding the absence of David De Gea and Antonio Valencia, who were both not included for the clash against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup. Mourinho played Sergio Romero in goal and Ashley Young at right-back and both of them impressed in their roles. Sergio Romero made some good saves to keep United alive in the game and kept his manager’s faith in him.
Regarding Phil Jones and Captain Wayne Rooney, Mourinho said that they were both injured and hence did not travel with the squad. He also confirmed that they will not be fit in time to face St-Etienne on Wednesday.
Mourinho said, “De Gea was rested,” he told reporters. “Rooney is injured. Jones is injured. I don’t think they will recover [to face Saint-Etienne on Wednesday]. Valencia was rested but Rooney and Jones haven’t trained with the team yet so I don’t think they will be there for Wednesday.”
When asked if Wayne Rooney would be back in time for EFL Cup final, he said, “I don’t know.”
Manchester United comfortably beat St-Etienne in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 fixture and also defeated Blackburn Rovers to progress to the quarterfinal stage of the Emirates FA Cup.
Blackburn took the lead when Danny Graham slotted home a neat pass he received from Marvin Emnes. It was a goal that even Mourinho applauded from his technical area. However, two brilliant passes, one each from Mkhitaryan and Pogba, helped United beat a spirited Blackburn team.
United next face St-Etienne in the return leg of the Round of 32 fixture and have EFL Cup final to play at the weekend, against Southampton, at Wembley.
Manchester United have a great chance to begin Mourinho era with a trophy and EFL Cup, despite being ignored by big teams sometimes, might not be a bad one to lift at the end of the season after all. The Red Devils can also be considered one of the favourites in the Europa League tournament and they may face a couple of tough games on the way to lifting it; Perks of playing in Europe.
However, if United can win the EFL Cup, it will be a huge morale booster in the middle of the season and it will help them perform at their best in the FA Cup and Europa League. With the team being just 2 points away from top-4, one can sense United’s season turning out to be a great one.
A couple of trophies added with a top-4 finish is not bad at all for a team that is playing its first season under a new manager.
The return of Wayne Rooney will be very important for United as his experience and mere presence will guide them through difficult situations.
Let’s wait for Captain Wayne to come back to fitness.