x

Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Pogba out but Mourinho confident Manchester United have depth in squad

Manager says he is unsure about severity of Frenchman's hamstring injury

Manchester United's Paul Pogba walks off as he is substituted for Marouane Fellaini after sustaining an injury. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters
Manchester United's Paul Pogba walks off as he is substituted for Marouane Fellaini after sustaining an injury. Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

Jose Mourinho is uncertain about the severity of Paul Pogba's hamstring injury but has no doubt that Manchester United have the midfield strength to cope without him.

Tuesday's long-awaited Uefa Champions League return came at a cost, with the 24-year-old midfielder only lasting 19 minutes of the 3-0 victory against Basle.

Pogba had been captaining United for the first time when he pulled up as he challenged for the ball.

The France international left Old Trafford on crutches and Mourinho is unsure about his absence beyond Sunday's Premier League clash with Everton.

Watch how Pogba got injured

Also read:

Steve Luckings' Premier League predictions

"I don't know, I just know that it's a muscular injury," the United manager said. "He's obviously out for the weekend match. The weekend match is the only match that I'm thinking about. I don't think further than that.

"So, for me, it's just simple and objective: he's not playing this weekend."

Immediately after the Basle match, Mourinho spoke of his expectation that Pogba - one of the stars of the first few weeks of the season - faces a "few weeks" out.

However long it ultimately is, the United boss has no doubt his players will step up to the plate.

Michael Carrick, appointed captain in the summer, has yet to play a competitive minute this term, while Ander Herrera - left out of the squad on Tuesday - and Marouane Fellaini offer alternatives.

"We have players and we have players waiting for an opportunity," Mourinho said. "Because we have started the season really well and with one match per week, [with] no need of resting, [to make] changes, we were basically going with the same players.

"But there are good players more than ready to play, so, honestly, we miss Pogba, we need Pogba, but we have good players.

"Herrera, Fellaini, Carrick, they are waiting - they are waiting for a real chance to start matches and to play matches from the beginning, and they are ready.

Also read:

Andy Mitten: Fellaini becoming indispensable at United

"So this is also our way of thinking. We lost important players last season during the season and during crucial moments of the season and we were not crying or making excuses about that. That's just football.

"Squads are (there) to try to cope with these kind of situations and we know that for a few matches - I don't know how many, I really cannot tell you how many I expect - but we are going to play without Pogba a few matches."