Mourinho ‘Not Optimistic’ Over Rojo and Zlatan Injuries

Written 5 months ago by Will O'Callaghan


Jose Mourinho said he was not feeling optimistic about the injuries sustained by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo as Manchester United secured a place in the Europa League semi-finals.

Thursday’s quarter-final second leg against Anderlecht at Old Trafford, which United won 2-1 in extra time on the night for a 3-2 triumph on aggregate, saw striker Ibrahimovic hobble off after landing awkwardly towards the end of normal time and defender Rojo depart on a stretcher in the first half.

Asked about the condition of the pair, Mourinho said: “I want to wait, but my feeling is not good for both.

“I want to wait and try to be optimistic, but I am not.”

Rojo’s injury comes at a time when United already have Phil Jones (foot) and Chris Smalling (knee) sidelined.

When it was put to him that he was facing a significant lack of options at centre-back, Mourinho mentioned Daley Blind – Rojo’s replacement from the bench – before suggesting Jones and Smalling needed to be “brave”.

Mourinho, who earlier this season made an apparent criticism of Smalling’s pain threshold, said: “We have Daley Blind, who has experience in the position, and I think it is time for Jones and Smalling to be brave – to risk.

“Because for the team you have to do everything, that is the way I think. You cannot do miracles, so miracles I don’t expect, but they have to try to do everything to accelerate the process.

“They have injuries, and even with a crazy mentality, they cannot play Sunday (at Burnley in the Premier League).

“But with a special spirit, you can (come back) sooner than expected. So instead of mid-May, it could be the beginning of May, this kind of acceleration of the process.”

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