Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Mourinho tells United to follow Federer's lead amid Young Boys pitch concerns

Paul Pogba GETTY Paul Pogba
Kristopher Love | 19 September, 2018, 16:59

The 20-year-old's playing time has been subject to scrutiny in recent days and has clearly irked the United boss. But given that he recently recovered from a back problem, Mourinho is likely to hold him back on Wednesday, meaning new signing Fred could start in the middle.

Mourinho confirmed that Shaw would start at left-back after Saturday's 2-1 win at Watford - a match Marcus Rashford missed as he started a three-match ban.

"Valencia's the only one that demanded from us, his situation, we need to protect his clinical situation".

"I just want to remind you, in advance, that we can only start with eleven [players] so when you see the team you could try to speak about the ones that are going to play and not the ones that are not going to play", he said.

"There are so many great young talents coming through that don't get anywhere near the amount of game time that he does".

United has some momentum going after consecutive wins in the Premier League, and the team will impose its will here by dominating possession, creating a flurry chances and putting three of them away. But if he has a game where he's not as effective then other guys will come in. "I think it's been blown out of proportion", Ferdinand told ESPN.

But Hargreaves does not think Mourinho, or the Manchester United hierarchy, would entertain that option given his importance to the team already.

The Old Trafford club have been drawn in a tricky group along with Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus and Valencia, which makes starting out with a positive result at the Stade de Suisse all the more important.

On the question of where Rashford's best position is now, and where the Manchester-born forward will eventually settle on the field, Hargreaves - who himself played in a number of positions - thinks too much has been made of it.

"Having the flexibility to play multiple positions is an asset and Rashford can play off the left, off the right, probably even as a number 10 and definitely as a number nine".

"We are improving, we found a certain balance in the team, especially in the competitive attitude", the manager said.

"Yeah he is getting the minutes, but as player I look at it if I'm Marcus Rashford: 'Have I started enough games?".