Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini were all confirmed as ‘available’ for the Crystal Palace clash at Old Trafford on Saturday by manager Jose Mourinho in his pre-match Press Conference. Manchester United fans have been waiting for a full strength squad for a long, long time as injury after injury stuck up Manchester United’s key players for most parts of the first part of the season and this will come as a welcome boost for manager Jose Mourinho who seems to be under pressure again after Derby Day pounding in the hands of arch rival Pep Guardiola.
First up he provided the following fitness update:
Rashford came [back] with a little problem but he’s ready [for Saturday’s game]. Lukaku is ready, I would say ready with a little risk, but ready. And Pogba, we knew he would use this break to recover.”
Jose Mourinho then was asked about those “quotes” which were doing rounds on Friday to which he gave a straight forward answer.
“I don’t play your game. I don’t play the game of the take out of context and do what you want I don’t play your game and I have nothing to say I don’t lose my time. Next question this side please.”
Mourinho was next asked about United’s Top-4 prospects to which he said he was confident that we could be in position to fight come end of December.
“I know. I know it’s a big gap but I also know until the end of December if I’m not wrong we have 8 Premier League matches to play, and 8 Premier League matches we are speaking about 24 points, 24 points for us to fight for the other ones in the top four to fight too but I believe we are going to be there.”
Mourinho said he was very pleased with the Manchester United supporters and that the support will help the reach ‘Next Level’s.
“The supporters cannot do more than what they are doing, we went through a diff period of results and the supporters were fantastic, they support them team and in some matches even push the team for different levels of where we were at the time and we cannot ask more from them. It’s us to give them and make them to go to an even better level, is for us.”
Mourinho also emphasised on results being important. But, he added that style was also important for Manchester United.
“For us. Team. And of course we need points, of course we need points, results, we need performances because we also like good performances in the top of points and good results so is up to us, we were playing well and getting good results until the one of the last period, of course we lost the last match but I don’t consider at all a bad performance and two weeks with a small group of player, waiting for news, good news, bad news in national teams no time to work together but we were in a good moment, playing well, so why not stay the same, to improve and to get good results because of course need now to get points to jump into the position we are in the championships and next week with the Champions League we need points against Young Boys.”
Mourinho said he had no idea about Chris Smalling’s new contract.
“I don’t know, honestly, I don’t know.”
Mourinho was then asked about Alexis Sanchez “wanting” to leave Old Trafford and here was his response.
“Alexis leaving in January? I don’t think so because he never told me that he wants to leave or isn’t happy to stay. He (Sanchez) is improving like the team is improving, and when he plays he giving us his personality, his desire to play and to produce for the team and trying to adapt to how we play, and vice versa.”
Mourinho was then asked about the purpose of his visit and attendance during Belgium’s international match against Iceland to which he said:
“I went (to Belgium during the international break), fundamentally, to be with Lukaku, to feel him, to see his situation, his injury.”
Mourinho then seemed to protect David De Gea from the Spanish press who have been at the back of Manchester United Goal Keeper recently.
“De Gea critics? Why in Spain? Do you know? I know. Because there is somebody very powerful that is thinking about jumping (in Spain team) again but I think it’s very difficult to jump when you have the best goalkeeper in the world in front of you.”