April 23, 2017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo Injuries Overshadow Manchester United's Europa League Progression

22 April 2017, 01:40 | Pamela Mathis

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during training

When asked after the match, a anxious United boss Jose Mourinho said: "I want to wait, but my feeling is not good for both".

United find out their semi-final opponents in Friday's draw, with Ajax, Celta Vigo or Lyon lying in wait. The red devils have never won the Europa League/Uefa Cup. But Mourinho feels he has options in attack, with Wayne Rooney having returned to the matchday squad against the Belgian side and Juan Mata battling to return from groin surgery before the end of the season.

"That is the way we think", Mourinho added.

"In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo, we don't have Jones or Smalling, we are in trouble and now we lose Zlatan too".

"I always trust the players with a special mentality", Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"It was a hard game, a hard opponent, I am exhausted, I imagine the players are more exhausted than me", he said. Ashley Young is fresh to play and who else? Nobody else is fresh to play! "We have great examples of fighters, with the right mentality".

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He looks certain to miss the rest of the season as United battle to finish in the Premier League's top four and win the Europa League.

The 19-year-old, who has made his senior team debut, is eligible to feature at the European Championship in the summer but his club manager suggests he should be left out. I do not know the extent of his injury, of course, but I saw him in there and he was optimistic. It's like me putting him in our Under-23s to win, let's say, a derby against Man City. No?

"He could by age, but when you reach a certain level, and you reach that level for a long time, I don't think it makes sense". No. (Academy coach) Nicky Butt doesn t take him to play that game.

Meanwhile, United and the FA face discussions over England youth global Axel Tuanzebe's participation in next month's U20s World Cup in South Korea.

"We have Daley Blind, who has experience in the position, and I think it is time for Jones and Smalling to be fearless - to risk", the United boss, who seemed to criticise Smalling's pain threshold earlier in the season, said. "But the power is in their hands".

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