Jose Mourinho explains his Manchester United team selection against Celta Vigo

by Tanveer Arayan


Jose Mourinho has explained his team selection against Celta Vigo, claiming he was hoping for Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to help claim a victory for Manchester United.

The Portuguese boss made six changes to his side which drew against Swansea City in the Premier League with Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marouane Fellaini taking the places of David de Gea, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick.

Man United are currently fifth in the Premier League, one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City and they face a difficult task of finishing in the top four, which is why Mourinho has confirmed he could be set to put an emphasis on the Europa League.

Speaking prior to the Europa League semi-final clash in Spain, Mourinho opened up about his selection of players.

Lingard was singled out for praise after the Swansea stalemate and Mourinho is hopeful he and Rashford will prevent United from merely defending in Spain.

“You have lots of experience on the bench,” he said. “I have Smalling, Carrick, Rooney, Ashley Young, Mata, our bench is a bench with good personalities, people with experience who can help us.

“But we try to go from the beginning with Rashford and Lingard, people with a little bit more sharpness in this moment and go with some youth to create some danger. We don’t want to come here and defend a result.

“I want to see confidence, I want to see the team playing to win, fight for the result that allows the second leg to go at them and to be in the final. Long road, very difficult Premier League, even more difficult because of the Europa League matches on the Thursdays, so we want to go to the final.

“It’s also important to have a proper central defender on the bench and to have Chris on the bench gives me relief, gives me stability because I know that now we are covered in all the positions and we need that in high level matches.”

He’s pleased to have some key players back in action following the recent injury crisis, and he was escpecially happy that Chris Smalling made himself available to cover Eric Bailly.

There’s a big task ahead as the side look to get back into the Champions League through the Europa League and Premier League, and the return of some injured players will be a massive boost.

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