Red Devils spot on with their approach

LONDON • Jose Mourinho commended Manchester United's attitude after they cruised into the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday courtesy of two superb goals by Jesse Lingard.

The holders and five-time winners comfortably beat Swansea 2-0 in the fourth-round tie.

United manager Mourinho had questioned the attitude of his players after the Premier League defeat at Huddersfield Town last Saturday, but this thoroughly professional display from a much-changed and youthful United left him satisfied.

"Since the first minute, we felt we were in the game. We were pressing high, we were comfortable on the pitch. The attitude was good," the Portuguese told Sky Sports after what was his 400th match in English football.

"We were solid and we were in control. I'm really happy and it was a good day for us."

There were starts for academy graduates midfielder Scott McTominay and defender Axel Tuanzebe, on the club's books since aged eight and five respectively.

"I think they both did well," Mourinho added.

Despite the changes there was still no start for Luke Shaw, who was named among the substitutes, alongside Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The England left-back came on for the final four minutes, but the 22-year-old, who became the world's most expensive teenager in 2014 after arriving from Southampton for £30 million (S$53.6 million), has played only 49 minutes this season. His future remains increasingly uncertain.

Mourinho was also boosted by news that centre-back Phil Jones has recovered from a leg injury and will be fit to play in Saturday's Premier League clash against Tottenham.

"I think Jones will be (back) because, today, he was on the bench and he told me he will be ready in case I need him," the 54-year-old said. "So I believe he'll be even better for Saturday."

United have not set a return date for injured midfielders Paul Pogba (hamstring), Michael Carrick (calf) and Marouane Fellaini (knee), while defender Eric Bailly is struggling with a groin problem.

Long-term absentees Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are expected to return from their knee injuries by the end of the year.

Jones' return will be a timely boost for second-placed United, who are tied on 20 points with Tottenham going into Saturday's clash at Old Trafford.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2017, with the headline 'Red Devils spot on with their approach'. Print Edition | Subscribe