By Salawudeen Olawale
Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has provided reasons midfielder, Paul Pogba will not be available for Thursday’s derby with Manchester City.
The France international was forced off in the closing stages of United’s 2-0 win over Burnley on Sunday.
Mourinho said afterward that the 24-year-old was “dead” having played 47 games so far this season, and he confirmed at his news conference on Wednesday that the midfielder will not be available to line up against City at the Etihad Stadium.
The Portuguese manager also confirmed that Antonio Valencia would be available for the encounter after missing the win at Turf Moor while Ander Herrera has shaken off an ankle knock and is available.
However, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are still out, despite Mourinho’s call for the defensive pair to step up their recovery from injury and take the burden off Eric Bailly and Daley Blind.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo and Juan Mata are also unavailable.
Mourinho said, “We go with what we have, we fight with what we have, I trust the boys and I go with everything we have and we go until the last second of the season. The boys are fighters and we go.”
He added, “It means nothing, means nothing. If you finish fifth and they are sixth, we are above them but it means nothing.
“If they finish third and we finish fourth, they are above us and it means a lot.
“This is not about Pep or City, it’s about objectives, and we want to play Champions League football and we still have two doors open.”