Jose Mourinho will include up to 10 youngsters in his squad to face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday despite admitting they are not ready to be thrown into action together.
The Manchester United manager is keeping his stars fresh for the Europa League final against Ajax three days later and will only use ‘three or four’ first-teamers when he would prefer more on duty to help the youngsters settle in.
Of the 10, seven are in line for their league debuts. Teenagers Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe have only made five league starts between them, and Scott McTominay played six minutes at Arsenal two weeks ago.
Jose Mourinho observes Manchester United youngsters Joel Pereira (left) and Angel Gomes
‘We will have two goalkeepers — Joel Pereira and Kieran O’Hara,’ said Mourinho. ‘We will have Demetri Mitchell, McTominay, Josh Harrop, Matthew Willock, Angel Gomes and Zachary Dearnley. I think that’s it.’
Asked if his academy players are ready, Mourinho replied: ‘All together? No. One in the middle of a good structure, an experienced structure, I think yes. Lots of them together, I think no.
‘To play so many kids at the same time I don’t think is good because there is a big difference of quality, strength and experience between them and good, experienced players. Supporters will understand the difficult job they have because it will not be easy for them.’
Mourinho speaks to Jesse Lingard and Gomes in training ahead of the Crystal Palace game
United is resting a number of his first team players for the Europa League final next week
Clubs are in danger of breaching rules if they select players from outside their 25-man Premier League squads. However, with United certain to finish sixth in the table and Palace safe, they are unlikely to face action.
A young Gomes with then United stars Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and his cousin Nani
Paul Pogba is one of the senior players who will be given game time after missing the last two matches following the death of his father. ‘Paul is fine,’ said Mourinho. ‘He’s learning how to live after his father passed away but he’s strong and he knows he needs to play.’
However, Wayne Rooney is not guaranteed to feature in what would almost certainly be his United farewell after 13 years at the club. ‘I don’t know,’ added Mourinho. ‘He played 90 minutes in the last match (against Southampton), so probably not.’
Mourinho fired the first shot in anger at United’s opponents in Stockholm, claiming Ajax had no right being in the Europa League. The Dutch side were knocked out of this season’s Champions League in the last qualifying round and, as a result, dropped into Europe’s secondary competition.
Mourinho said: ‘A team shouldn’t play two European competitions in the same season. They should go home. It’s for teams who go into the Europa League like us.’
Zachary Dearnley, 18, shakes the hand of the United manager during training on Thursday
Mourinho takes time to speak to his senior players including striker Wayne Rooney
Source link : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4523980/Jose-Mourinho-calls-10-teens-aren-t-ready-yet.html
Publish date : 19 May 2017 | 9:33 pm