By James Agberebi:
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial will be out of Thursday’s Europa League round 16 second leg against FC Rostov at Old Trafford due to injury.
Mourinho however revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic who missed United’s 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final loss to Chelsea on Monday night will make a return for Thursday’s game.
“He (Martial) was injured for Chelsea match,” Mourinho said at Thursday’s press conference.
“If you are injured for the Monday night then you are injured for the Tuesday morning session training session, and then you cannot play on Thursday. So Martial is out of my mind.
“Rooney had a kick in his knee area.
“We have the same players we had in the last match plus Ibrahimovic returning to the Europa League.”
Mourinho said despite United holding Rostov to a 1-1 away draw, the tie is far from over.
He added: “We know that the 1-1 result leaves everything open. We know Rostov is a very good team. We are so many matches away and some of those are against big opponents who have experience in the Champions League.
“1-1 is a very doubtful result.
“Tomorrow we go with everything that we have, the fans will give us a little bit of extra energy.
“Tomorrow we believe we can cope with the situation and reach the quarter-final.”
Paul Pogba, the most expensive player in the world at £89m, has come under heavy criticism lately for below-par performances, but Mourinho defends his star midfielder, blaming the criticism on envy.
“Pogba and his family deserve respect. He wasn’t afraid to move for another chance, he reached the top with his work,” Mourinho added.
“It isn’t Paul’s fault that some of the pundits have such a struggle in their life they need every penny.
“I feel that the world is losing value, envy is coming at such a level that I’m afraid for the next generation.”