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Zlatan and Pogba return to Man Utd side for EFL Cup semi-final against Hull

Jose Mourinho and his star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Credit: PA

Jose Mourinho will bring big hitters Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba into a refreshed Manchester United side for the EFL Cup semi-final against Hull.

In-form United racked up an eighth consecutive victory in all competitions on Saturday as Championship promotion hopefuls Reading were swatted aside in the FA Cup.

Mourinho made nine changes for the tie and has promised to rotate further on Tuesday, when Hull arrive for the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.

"Today I played with fresh players, I don't want to put things in first team or second, first choice or second choice," Mourinho said on Saturday.

"Today I played with fresh players, the players that didn't play against West Ham. And the next match against Hull I'm going to play again with fresh players so it's easy to know our team - it's Zlatan, it's Pogba, it's (Ander) Herrera, it's (Antonio) Valencia, the guys who didn't play today."


Mourinho rules out loaning out Man United players

Mourinho will only loan out Sam Johnstone in January. Credit: PA

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stated young goalkeeper Sam Johnstone will be the only player he will allow to depart Old Trafford on loan next month.

Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial are among those on the fringes of Mourinho's team who have been linked with loan switches yet the Portuguese is only prepared to sanction a temporary deal for Johnstone.

The 23-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance for United and, with Sergio Romero backing up David de Gea, he is free to gain experience elsewhere, with Stoke, Sunderland and Aston Villa possible destinations.

Mourinho said:

Sam Johnstone is the only player that I will allow to go on loan because he doesn't play one single minute, he needs to play.

We have a young goalkeeper in Joel (Pereira), a goalkeeper that played many minutes in the past six months in the Portuguese Premier League and now it's time for Sam to play six months.

That's the only loan move that we are going to do.

– Man United manager Jose Moruinho

Mourinho has 'bad feelings' over Man United selections

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admits he has "bad feelings" about failing to give some members of his squad a fair chance to prove themselves to him.

Mourinho admits he feels bad about the lack of game time for some players. Credit: Reuters

A number of players, such as Memphis Depay and Ashley Young, have found themselves with restricted pitch time so far this season.

Mourinho pointed to a proliferation of personnel for specific positions as one of the reasons why some people have not been afforded a chance but said it is something which troubles him.

He told Sky Sports News:

I still have bad feelings towards myself as I didn't give a real chance to everyone. There are some positions in our sport where we have over-booking.

The attacking wing positions we have not just a few wingers but also people who can play there: we can add (Marcus) Rashford and (Wayne) Rooney to players like (Jesse) Lingard, (Juan) Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Memphis Depay, (Anthony) Martial and Ashley Young.

To be honest people like Young and Memphis I didn't give them a run of matches for them to prove so I have this little bad feeling. In relation to Marcus and (Phil) Jones the injury situation opened the door for them.

The way they were working in training sessions has given them the condition to go into the game and start immediately well. I am really pleased with both: Marcus because he was a player considered by many without the quality to be a Manchester United player.

– Man United manager Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho takes aim at former Man United striker

Mourinho will not tolerate the slightest criticism of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Credit: Reuters

Jose Mourinho has taken a cheeky dig at Michael Owen after the BT pundit commented on Zlatan Ibrahimovic's long-term future at Man United.

It's believed that Mourinho took exception to a remark from Owen that suggested Zlatan Ibrahimovic cannot be seen as a long-term option for United because he is nearing the end of his career.

Speaking to Jake Humphrey, Mourinho pointed out that Ibrahimovic is already close to matching Owen's goal tally at United after three seasons, even though he's only been at the club for six months.

The Portuguese manager said:

Zlatan, in spite of your colleague Michael Owen, [who] doesn’t like him...

Zlatan will score more goals in one season than Michael Owen in three seasons at Man United.

He [Owen] scored 17 goals in three seasons. Zlatan is almost there in six months.

– Man United manager Jose Mourinho

Owen responded to Mourinho's comment by suggesting his goals "were of more value to Man United" because he cost "about 10 per cent of what Zlatan is on a week."

Manchester United needed the three points - Mourinho

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United were full value for their win Credit: PA

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was pleased his side clinched a 1-0 victory against Tottenham Hotspur, although admitted the final 10 to 15 minutes of the match had him on the edge of his seat.

The hosts broke the deadlock on the half-hour as Henrikh Mkhitaryan fired a powerful rising effort beyond the diving Hugo Lloris for his first Premier League goal.

Paul Pogba's free-kick rattled the woodwork midway through the second half, moments before he was thwarted by Lloris, while opposite number David De Gea held out a curling effort from Christian Eriksen at the other end as the home side held on for maximum points.

Mourinho believed his team more than deserved the win, with the three points crucial to staying in touch near the top of the table.

We played very well again, against a very good team - so more difficult.

I think we don't deserve to spend the last 10-15 minutes with our heart in our hands because we did enough to score a second goal and to kill the game.

But again the post and Lloris.

We had that in one minute on two or three occasions with the post or the shot or the save or the rebounds and we don't score. We are always at risk because teams are always good and they try to change the game.

But in the moment, 1-0 is magic because we need these three points.

– Jose Mourinho
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