Jose Mourinho has reacted to the prospect of losing Antonio Valencia for Wednesday’s game with Crystal Palace after the Ecuadorian picked up a yellow card during Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
Valencia brought down Danny Rose in the 32nd minute at Old Trafford, picking up his fifth yellow card of the season and a one-match ban as a result.
The 31-year-old has featured in 13 of Man United’s 15 Premier League games this season, making 17 appearances in all competitions.
Mourinho, speaking to MUTV after the game, acknowledged that Valencia would be a big loss on Wendesday.
“It’s a loss as he is playing phenomenally and having a great season,” Mourinho said.
“He likes to attack and was previously a winger so he’s happy with the way the team plays. But he’s suspended and that’s football, a feature of that, and we have to trust other players.”
In a season heralded by both moments of brilliance and galling set-backs, Valencia has perhaps been United’s most constant source of reliability all season.
His presence provides Mourinho’s side with width, power going forward and defensive solidity, often acting as a springboard for furious counter-attacks down the right flank.
In his place will be Matteo Darmian – an undoubtedly solid influence at the back, but hardly a potent force going forward. United fans will hope that Mourinho’s men can hold firm in the Ecuadorian’s absence.