Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho remains unsure as to whether his star trio of Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will return in time to face Blackburn Rovers.
The Red Devils are all set to take on Blackburn in their Sunday’s FA Cup game, but Jose may have to face a selection dilemma due to the potential absence of three of his star players.
United’s English veterans Carrick and Rooney were both unable to feature in Thursday’s Europa League game against St Etienne due to what Mourinho described as ‘small muscular problems’. Furthermore, play maker Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a shock exclusion from the first leg of the tie as well, due to illness.
And now, it looks like these three could miss Manchester United‘s second successive game, as Jose still remains unsure regarding their match fitness.
Mourinho provided an update on Carrick and Rooney’s situation by stating (via Manchester Evening News): “I want them to be fit, I want them to be ready. Against St Etienne, if they were, they would be involved because I need everybody. I am not sure they will be ready because the game is in two days but let’s see.”
Regarding Mkhitaryan, the Portuguese revealed: “He’s ill. He stayed at home. On Wednesday, he was feeling a little bit. The doctors were on it and hoping he would be ready (to play St Etienne) but he was not ready. Let’s see.”
Blackburn manager Owen Coyle, however, believes Carrick and Rooney could very well feature this Sunday.
“I would think given the games they have coming up they will probably change personnel, which probably means they’ll be bringing in a Michael Carrick or a Wayne Rooney,’” Coyle was quoted as saying (via ESPN).
He then heaped praise on the English duo by stating: “They’re not weakening the team. Regardless if they freshen up, if one drops out the one who steps in is a bona fide international and a player of supreme quality. If someone doesn’t play and Wayne Rooney does, is that weakening their team? Far from it. The quality of players like Rooney and Carrick is there for everyone to see.”