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Latest from Mourinho: Man United superstar returns to training but another key player remains out

Manchester United travel to Newcastle United on Sunday, aiming to bag all three points and extend the lead on third-placed Liverpool to 8 points. After watching United ease past Huddersfield last weekend, Jose Mourinho will be hoping his side can register a win at Newcastle on Sunday and build the momentum.

The start of 2018 has been really good for Mourinho, whose side have won 6 of their 7 games- the only defeat coming at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Currently in second place and trailing runaway leaders Manchester City by a massive 13 points, the Red Devils’ most realistic chances of silverware would be the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Team News

Paul Pogba could make a return to the starting line-up after being on the substitutes bench against Huddersfield. Mourinho opted for midfielder Scot McTominoy ahead of Pogba and the youngster impressed last Saturday. While McTominoy didn’t put a foot wrong last time out, the United manager could call up Pogba to offer more dynamism in the midfield, at St.James’ Park.

When Mourinho was asked about the Frenchman’s role in the team, the United manager argued the club record signing has everything in his locker to be the complete midfield player.

“In relation to his best position, I had a few laughs over the past few weeks because I heard, I watch, I had the chance to read a few things and I’m not English but I think I understand English enough to understand what you want to say with box-to-box,” our boss said during the pre-match press conference.

“But with some comments from important people in football, I got a little bit confused because, for me, box-to-box means box-to-box and means you have to be good in this box, you have to be good in this road and you have to be good in that box. It means that you have to defend well in this box, you must have the physical condition, the desire, the intensity, the stamina to go until the other box.”

The United manager also heaped praise on Luke Shaw, claiming that he is really with the left-back and that the player deserves a new contract at United.

“He has been, for a few months, free of minor injuries that can stop [a player’s] evolution and I’m really happy [with him]. I think he will be a Manchester United player for years,” our boss added.

Injury News

As far as the injury news goes, the United boss confirmed that he will be without defender Daley Blind and Eric Bailly for the trip to Newcastle.

He also provided an important update on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, claiming that the Swedish star has joined training with the team. However, he is expected to be available for selection in a week’s time.

“The squad is good, everything is fine. Eric Bailly and Daley Blind are the two players that are out. Zlatan started training with the team two days ago, so two days with the group and improving. We are fine,” the Portuguese tactician confirmed.

Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini has been struggling with a knee injury of late and the big Belgian is expected to return in six to eight weeks time following a knee surgery.

Mourinho has a dismal record at Newcastle, failing to win a single game in six trips. However, that could change this weekend with Newcastle struggling for wins and points. If our players continue the good work at Tyneside, I don’t see why we cannot return home with all three points.

Written by Rohan Sengupta

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