‘Only 11 can start. We are 22’: Mourinho on why Man Utd duo Rashford and Martial aren’t playing regularly

While midfielder Paul Pogba and defender Chris Smalling came up with the goods at the Etihad Stadium last weekend as Manchester United beat champions-elect Man City, Jose Mourinho spoke heavily about his attackers ahead of Sunday’s game against West Brom.

Attacking duo Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have this week been linked with a move away from the club.

Despite appearing in 97 games for Mourinho, Rashford has started just one league game in 2018 so far, while Martial has started just two of his side’s last nine games.

Both players are reportedly facing uncertain futures at United, but Mourinho defended his recent team selections by highlighting the depth of his squad.

“If I was you I would go why [Romelu] Lukaku plays every match, why [Nemanja] Matic plays every match,” Mourinho told reporters.

“You always go to the one, the answer is if you want what I call dry answers, I have dry answers and a dry answer is only 11 can start the match and we are 22.

“It is just football, we cannot have 11 players, it would be amazing economically for the football clubs to have only 11 and play with the same 11, no injuries, suspension, fatigue, it would be better for everyone to have only 11 but it is not possible.

“At every club and every level, you need more than 11 players and only 11 can start, is as simple as that, there’s nothing I can do.”

Mourinho also spoke of Lukaku: the Portuguese boss was asked whether he would sign another striker to provide the Belgian with competition for places, but he insists he is happy with his attacking options.

“No, no. If I have more competition for him I have more comp for the other ones you are saying are not happy because they are not playing. I probably have to reduce and have a squad of 12 or 13 players.”

Lukaku was on target against his former club at the Hawthorns in the reverse fixture in December, and on Sunday he will be looking to add to his 26 goals in all competitions as he looks to maintain his impressive form in his debut season at Old Trafford.

United stopped City from winning the title last week, and if City claim victory at Spurs then the Red Devils must win to put their rival’s title celebrations on hold for at least another week.

For United, their home match against bottom-of-the-league West Brom remains an important game as they look to strengthen their hold on second spot in the Premier League standings.

They currently sit four points clear of Liverpool in third but with a game in hand over the Merseyside club, while Spurs also have 67 points but the same number of games played as United (33).

Image courtesy of MUTV via YouTube, with thanks.

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