MOURINHO WON’T CRY OVER UNITED ABSENTEES
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted he will never “cry” about absent players, after Ander Herrera’s name was added to the unavailable list after his first-half red card at Chelsea.
The Spanish midfielder was sent off after receiving a second yellow card in the 35th minute of the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final and he will now serve a ban in domestic competitions, for two matches because he had previously been dismissed in this season’s Premier League game against Burnley.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was notably unable to face Chelsea due to the three-match ban that was attributed to him after an incident with Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings at Old Trafford on 4 March.
“We don’t cry,” Mourinho said at his post-match press conference, when quizzed on the mounting number of players with suspensions or injuries. “Nobody saw us crying this week because we don’t have Zlatan, because we don’t have this, we don’t have that, nobody had one single word from us crying about it.”
Wayne Rooney missed the trip to Stamford Bridge after being injured in training on Sunday and the manager said on Monday night that he does not yet know how serious the captain’s problem is.
Anthony Martial also sat the Chelsea game out through injury and that led to Marcus Rashford starting up front as the only available recognised striker, having gallantly overcome a bout of illness to feature in the 1-0 defeat. “The decision came from him,” the manager revealed ahead of kick-off against the Blues. “He understood the situation and that he was the only one with a chance to play. He put himself on the line.”
United’s attention now turns to Thursday’s Europa League Round-of-16 second leg against FC Rostov at Old Trafford, when the Reds will look to build on last week’s valuable 1-1 draw out in Russia.
Crucially, Ibrahimovic and Herrera are both available for that game because their suspensions are limited to domestic matters only, but it remains to be seen if Rooney and Martial will be fit to play.
Mourinho is now understandably keen for his players to recuperate from a punishing 10-man display against Chelsea. “We have a very important match on Thursday and I want to rest a little bit to try to prepare the team as best we can,” he said. “That’s the most important thing now.”
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