Manchester United v Crystal Palace: Mourinho fears Pogba out long term

Paul Pogba remains sidelined for Manchester United’s home match against Crystal Palace tomorrow with Jose Mourinho fearful the club’s record signing could be out long term.

Pogba, 24, had started the season brightly for United up until his injury against FC Basel early in the UEFA Champions League on September 12.

The French midfielder picked up United’s player of the month for August, having scored two goals and registered two assists in the Premier League.

United don’t seem to have missed Pogba so far having won five games out of five in his absence, but Mourinho couldn’t give a date of when the midfielder would return.

“[Pogba’s] injured, he cannot play tomorrow,” Mourinho confirmed.

“His injury is not one that I can have with Valencia or Jones. With them, I have the hope to see them training and to have a positive answer.

“But with long-term injuries, I don’t speak about them, so Ibra, Pogba, Rojo and these players, I don’t think about them.”

Michael Carrick and Phil Jones, who sat out of United’s 4-1 win in Moscow on Wednesday, also remain unavailable for Saturday’s game.

“They [Carrick and Jones] are out. They were out [on Wednesday] and tomorrow some will be out too.

“What I’m saying is that from all the injuries we had, I hope that I can have some players available tomorrow.”

One of these players could be Antonio Valencia. When asked whether the Ecuador captain would be fit, Mourinho said: “We have to train but, maybe, yes.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game against Crystal Palace, Mourinho highlighted the importance of having strong squad mentality.

“We played Wednesday night and we arrived in Manchester at 4am, so home at 5am, and we have to play tomorrow, so mentality is very important.”

Opponents Crystal Palace are currently rock bottom at the foot of the Premier League table, having picked up no points from their first six matches played.

The Eagles have conceded 13 goals – the joint most in the division with West Ham United.

Mourinho’s men go into the game as firm favourites, but the Portuguese boss is taking nothing for granted.

It is an important game for United, they have the opportunity to go three points clear at the top of the table and put pressure on fellow title challengers Chelsea and Manchester City – the two sides meet in the teatime kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

Image courtesy of Chevrolet FC via YouTube, with thanks.

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