Mourinho confirms two youngsters are in first-team picture

Date published: Saturday 17th February 2018 9:33 - Matthew Stead

Jose Mourinho hopes to have Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera back in time for Manchester United’s Champions League clash at Sevilla.

The duo missed last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle with unspecified muscular injuries and will again be absent as United face Huddersfield in the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday.

However, Mourinho has not given up on Herrera and Rashford being available for next week’s Champions League last-16 first leg at Sevilla.

“No (for tomorrow), chance (for Sevilla),” the United boss said of the pair.

“Yes (it is an important week), but let’s go step by step. The next one is the one that, tomorrow 7.30pm, we are out of the FA Cup or we are in the quarter-final.

“Tomorrow is black or white. It’s not grey. Tomorrow is really important because it’s a knockout match.

“We are going to face the game in the best possible way.

“Sevilla is half of a knock-out, so not so crucial as Huddersfield, but almost.”

Eric Bailly could return from a three-month injury lay-off at the John Smith’s Stadium, while striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back in training after a knee complaint.

Marouane Fellaini and Daley Blind have also been sidelined of late, with teenagers Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes pushing for a place in the squad at Huddersfield.

“If, for you, promotion is that they train regularly with us, they have been promoted for a long time,” Mourinho said when they were mentioned to him.

“Scott McTominay didn’t arrive here from the moon. Before he came to the first-team he trained with us many times last season.

“He came to us in pre-season and then we realised that with Andreas Pereira going to Valencia, we decided not to buy another player because we had Scott McTominay ready to step up.

“If that’s the concept of promotion, the kids are promoted all the time.

“Maybe tomorrow I will have one of the kids on the bench.

“The objective of having a squad that is not so big is exactly to be open for this

“This week, for example, we didn’t have a few players with injuries and small things we wanted to protect and didn’t train with the team and made individual training, the kids trained with us yesterday and before that.”

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