Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that his side will be without Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial for the second leg of their Europa League tie against the Russian club Rostov. Rooney suffered a leg injury after colliding with Phil Jones on Monday, while Martial had also missed United’ FA Cup clash against Chelsea with an injury.
“He [Rooney] got a kick in his knee area. He stays in medical department.
“He [Martial] was injured for Chelsea match. He is out of my mind. Same players we had in last match, plus (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic,” Jose Mourinho said in a press conference on Wednesday, reported Skysports.
After suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea in the quarter-final of the FA Cup at the Stamford Bridge on Monday, Manchester United’s misery was compounded by a hindrance at the Heathrow airport. The Daily Star reported that Jose Mourinho and the players were left fuming when they arrived at the airport to only find out that their plane was in another country and was due to land at 2.30 am after a huge delay.
The United team opted to travel back to Manchester by bus, and they arrived at their destination at around 4 am – at about the same time they arrived from Russia on Friday after their match against Rostov. However, Mourinho feels that such adversities can bring the players together, and he is confident that his team can put these disappointments behind them and win a place in the quarters of the Europa League.
“The only thing I can tell you is that my players did what everybody could see on the Monday night and Tuesday at midday they were here to train again as they are great professionals.
“We had one ‘gift’ and we thought one ‘gift’ was enough and we thought two was too much and then the third ‘gift’.
“The first ‘gift’ was to play Monday and then the next ‘gift’ is 10 men and then the third was to have a promenade on the M6 (motorway), but we are professional so the next morning we were here to train and the same today and tomorrow (Thursday).
“The fans will give us this extra energy so we believe that tomorrow we can cope with the situation and fight to be in the quarter-final,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by Skysports.
Manchester United’s tie against Rostov is delicately poised at the moment after it ended 1-1 at the Olimp-2 Stadium last week. Mourinho’s men started positively in the first half of that game, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s opening goal was canceled out by Aleksandr Bukharov’s equalizer in the second half. On paper, the Red Devils are still the favorites to go through to the next round as a goalless draw at the Old Trafford in the second leg will be enough to award them the win on aggregate.
However, the team’s confidence is likely to be dented after the loss they suffered at the hands of Chelsea, and a squad which has already been stretched by injuries and suspensions, will have to fight off the fatigue that is bound to creep in after what has been a hectic last four days for them on the road.
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