Jose hints he should make injuries a big issue

LONDON • Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes he deserves credit for not complaining more about Paul Pogba's injury problems and those affecting the rest of his squad.

The France midfielder has been absent for almost two months with a hamstring injury suffered during a 3-0 Champions League victory over Basel on Sept 12.

Five other players - Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard - are currently sidelined and Mourinho says their absences should be taken into account.

"You know, I think it's my fault because I should cry every week about our injuries and remind everybody, day after day or press conference after press conference," he said.

"It's my way of dealing with problems. It's my way of trying to motivate and respect and give confidence to the players that are going to replace those people.

"But maybe I have to reconsider. I know that I moan with a lot of things, but I don't do with the injuries and probably I should.

"I think any other manager would be speaking about Pogba every day. 'Oh, I don't have Pogba. Oh, when will I have Pogba?'

"But I don't speak about Pogba one single time. It's only when you ask me about his situation."

Mourinho has repeatedly refused to predict when Pogba might be fit again.

The 24-year-old returned to United's Carrington training headquarters just over a week ago after spending time rehabilitating in Miami.

United are five points below Premier League leaders Manchester City ahead of their trip to champions Chelsea today.

For the Blues, the gauntlet has been thrown down to the players by manager Antonio Conte.

They will now either respond positively following the 3-0 midweek Champions League defeat at Roma or the title defence will peter out in underachievement.

"This season we are struggling a lot because we are facing a lot of important problems," Conte said.

"And to solve these problems is not simple. But I think, in this moment, you can see if you are winners or losers.

"This is very important, this moment."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 05, 2017, with the headline 'Jose hints he should make injuries a big issue'. Print Edition | Subscribe