Ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League game against Southampton, Jose Mourinho has revealed he will be picking a team that allows him to rotate and bring players back to match fitness ahead of the Europa League final.
Daley Blind and Paul Pogba will be missing for the trip to St Mary’s while Marouane Fellaini will return having missed three league games following his red card in our 0-0 draw against Manchester City at the Etihad.
In a bid to manage fitness levels, Mourinho reveals that he is giving players days off, as and when, to ensure they’re in the best condition possible for next Wednesday.
I have to build some teams with the minimum of conditions to fight for a result. We lost against Arsenal 2-0 and we fought for the result. We lost 2-1 [at Spurs] and we fought for the result. We always want to fight for the result. I don’t want to field a team where people think we aren’t fighting for the result – we are fighting for the result.
What I want from the players is a positive attitude, good team spirit and the understanding that some guys have to sacrifice themselves for the good of others.
So I’m going to rotate some people. Blind will not play against Southampton but Fellaini will, because he has not played the last three matches. These are examples of trying not to accumulate [matches] but people have to play because we don’t have other players. I cannot put four or five other kids all together in the fire; I cannot do that to the kids.
I don’t think Paul has the conditions to play; we will let him be completely free to come back when he thinks he is ready to be back. [Martial] didn’t play against Celta because the options were different but he is fine and he is one of the guys that it is very important for him to play 90 minutes. Smalling, Jones, Mata – it is very important for them to play 90 minutes.
I am giving one-day holiday ‘a la carte’, if you understand – Blind one day off, [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan one day off, [Ander] Herrera one day off. But the guys who played 90 minutes [v Spurs], I cannot give them one day off if I want them to play versus Southampton because they need two recovery days.
I’m trying to get people to be the best they can be. This is a period in one week where I have to give one day off, give [Antonio] Valencia a day off. And, against Crystal Palace, two or three more [players], and against Southampton, two or three more. And that’s to try to arrive in the final in the best possible condition.
The 2017/18 Manchester United Away kit
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— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 12, 2017
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