Man Utd Team News: Mourinho Confirms Double Boost Ahead Of Arsenal Clash
Jose Mourinho has confirmed a double injury boost ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Arsenal this weekend plus he’s offered an update on Chris Smalling.
Manchester United get back to Premier League action after the international break when they take on Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.
Ahead of the game, Jose Mourinho has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s given reporters a team news and injury update.
The United manager was pleased to confirm that Luke Shaw is fit and available for selection after recovering from the minor knock which kept him out of the Swansea game before the international break.
Shaw had complained about pain in the leg which he broke last year but Mourinho says the 21-year-old has worked hard over the past two weeks and is now in contention to make his comeback against Arsenal tomorrow.
The Portuguese coach told ManUtd.com:
“He [Shaw] worked well in this period where we had a very small group, which is not the best [situation], but he worked really well.”
“He is ready to play and I don’t have any problem with him. I am not saying that he plays or he doesn’t play tomorrow, I am just saying that he is my player, a player with potential, but like every young player he has little problems and things he needs to learn and to improve on.
“He is a player that has my confidence and will play in this period of many matches – for sure.”
Shaw’s return to fitness will come as a welcome boost for United as they have a number of injury problems at the back with Eric Bailly out with a knee injury, Antonio Valencia still struggling with a fractured arm and Chris Smalling has a toe injury.
The former Fulham centre-back missed the win at Swansea which led to Mourinho openly criticising some of his players willingness to play through the pain barrier. Reports last week then claimed that Smalling had in fact been ruled out for at least a month after scans showed he’d suffered a broken toe.
Mourinho was quizzed about the 26-year-old’s condition today but the United boss refused to provide an update on the defender. He’s quoted as saying by ESPN:
“You cannot ask [about Smalling]. You have your sources, you believe your sources, you respect your sources and we have had that for 15 days, so I am not going to speak about Smalling. So I will not comment. Do your big headlines with your sources.”
Mourinho was more open about the situation surrounding Wayne Rooney with the United boss confirming that his captain is fit and ready to take on Arsenal after missing England’s 2-2 draw with Spain due to a knee injury.
Rooney hit the headlines after being caught drinking until 5am after England’s win over Scotland last weekend but Mourinho says he’s not willing to comment on incidents which happen while players are away on international duty.
He’s quoted as saying by ESPN:
“Over the last 2-3 days, nothing happened. He [Rooney] trained like everybody else, he wants to play like everybody else. He’s ready.
“What happened with the national team, happened with national team. I don’t comment. They belong to the national team, what happens good or bad, I don’t like to comment.
“Sometimes the players come back stronger than when they left, maybe something good has happened, results, performances for instance. But other time, there are injuries frustrations, they didn’t play etc.
“In this case, we know what they didn’t do well, but the national team is a different shepherd and is closed now until the end of February.”
So it looks as though Rooney is in contention to face the Gunners on Saturday lunchtime as United look to close the gap on the top four with the Red Devils heading in to the weekend action sitting sixth and eight points adrift of the league leaders.
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