Friday 23 February 2018

Jose Mourinho hits out at referee Craig Pawson as he confirms injuries for Ibrahimovic and Lukaku

Jose Mourinho's side were frustrated by Southampton
Jose Mourinho's side were frustrated by Southampton
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was highly critical of referee Craig Pawson as his miserable Christmas continued with a 0-0 draw against Southampton at Old Trafford.

A limp United display was greeted with some boos by the home supporters, yet Mourinho insisted the only reason his side did not win was due to Pawson refusal to hand his side a first half penalty after the ball struck Maya Yoshida's hand in the box.

“I think it is a disappointing afternoon for Craig (Pawson) because he's a fantastic referee, one of the best in Europe,” said Mourinho. “Of course I think it was a penalty.

“I saw it on the touchline and it was very clear. But I was 50 metres away from the decision so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

"Then when I see players like Juan Mata reacting so hysterically, I knew there was no doubt.

“At half-time, I watched it and it was a penalty – like the foul on (Marcus) Rashford against Leicester and the foul on (Ander) Herrera against City.

“I repeat that the three referees' performances in those matches were good, but they were unlucky decisions for us. We have been punished.”

“We missed easy chances, but I'm really unhappy with the penalty, not with Pawson's performance. Today I think Craig had a good performance, it was a big decision to make from Craig.

“I'm happy with the players' attitude, the players' desires and I'm very happy with my place.”

Meanwhile, Mourinho confirmed he is facing up to a striker crisis after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku both prepare for a spell on the sidelines.

Mourinho could not confirm the extent of Lukaku's injury as he was carried off during United's 0-0 draw with Southampton at Old Trafford after a worrying clash of heads with Wesley Hoedt.

Lukaku was being treated at Old Trafford rather than being taken to hospital after he was stretchered off with an oxygen mask, as the club opted not to take the Belgian striker to hospital.

"We don't have any news for the moment, tomorrow we will hear from the doctors," stated Mourinho.

The news on Ibrahimovic was not so positive, as he confirmed the Swedish striker who recently returned to full fitness now faces a spell in the treatment room.

"Zlatan...one month out," confirmed Mourinho. "A massive problem. He is a 36-year-old with a bad knee,"the Portuguese later added.

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