Man Utd Team News: Mourinho Offers Update On Trio Ahead Of Fenerbahce Clash
Jose Mourinho has offered a team news update ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Fenerbahce including the latest on three of his stars
Manchester United will be looking to take a huge step towards the knock out stages of the Europa League when they take on Fenerbahce in Turkey tomorrow evening.
Ahead of the game, Jose Mourinho has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and given reporters a team news and injury update.
The United boss confirmed Antonio Valencia is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a fractured arm during the EFL Cup win over Manchester City last week.
Speculation in the press suggests that the Ecuadorian international is facing at least six weeks out and although Mourinho wouldn’t be drawn on any specific timescale, he did admit the full-back will be on the treatment table for ‘a while’.
Chris Smalling has failed to make the trip to Istanbul as he continues to nurse a foot injury that’s kept him out of the last three matches while Eric Bailly is also out for the foreseeable future with a knee ligament injury.
With three of United’s most important defenders currently on the sidelines through injury, Phil Jones’s return to full fitness has come at the perfect time and the centre-back has been named in the travelling party for the Fenerbahce game.
Mourinho admits that with so many injuries at the back, he may have little choice but to hand Jones his first competitive appearance in the first team for 10 months, although I expect Marcos Rojo may once again partner Daley Blind at the back tomorrow night with Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw in the full-back spots.
He told ManUtd.com:
“Well, I almost don’t remember when Phil Jones had a good run of matches for United. He’s having a difficult relationship with injuries and it’s been difficult this season for him, but he worked hard to recover and he’s training with the team for more than a week now.
“We’re in a difficult situation because we lost three defenders in a week; [Antonio] Valencia, [Eric] Bailly and [Chris] Smalling. Because of this difficult situation, we don’t have more time to be in better conditions. We have to select him and maybe we have to play him.”
There was some more positive news for United as Anthony Martial has been passed fit to make the trip to Turkey after overcoming a foot injury that kept him out of the recent games against Burnley and Man City.
Mourinho also explained his ‘human’ decision to allow Bastian Schweinsteiger to rejoin first team training as he feels the German could be useful if they experience a number of injuries in midfield over the coming busy period.
The United boss is quoted as saying by the Metro:
‘Schweinsteiger is back. We made that decision last Thursday. We phoned him last Friday so he could join the team last Monday.
‘It was a decision based on fact that we are in a period of the season where it’s really difficult with everybody together.
‘The problem of tactical work that I like to do with 21 players max, to have 23/24 at a time doesn’t happen.
‘Looking at Bastian and the way he was working professionally every day with the fitness coach, we think it’s a professional decision to bring him back to the team.
‘We will be much better prepared, much better conditions, in case his future decision is to leave the club. In this moment we have no problems in midfield like we do in defence. If we do have problems in midfield, he’s one option for us. It’s a decision that can be positive for the group.’
Schweinsteiger won’t be involved against Fenerbahce on Thursday night as he wasn’t included in the United squad for the group stages of the Europa League, but you can see the full 21-man squad here.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 2, 2016
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