Monday 22 October 2018

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho handed a triple injury boost ahead of Tottenham showdown

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reacted angrily to criticism of his tactics in recent weeks
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reacted angrily to criticism of his tactics in recent weeks
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United have been given a triple injury boost ahead of Saturday’s crucial Premier League game against Tottenham, with Eric Bailly set to make his return to action and Ander Hererra and Marcus Rashford shaking off knocks to take part in training on Thursday.

Bailly has missed United’s last five matches after picking up an injury on international duty with the Ivory Coast, but he took a full part in the club’s latest training session at the club’s Carrington training base.

Herrera and Rashford were also present for a session overseen by boss Jose Mourinho, but there was no sign of Paul Pogba, who is believed to be closing in on a return from a hamstring problem.

Mourinho has refused to be draw on Pogba’s fitness in recent days, despite regular social media posts by the French midfielder showing him working out and appearing to be preparing for a return to action.

"Can Paul play against Tottenham, I don’t know," Mourinho last week. "I’m not telling you no, then he plays, and then you say I lied. I really don’t know.”

What appears to be clear is that initial reports claiming Pogba would miss the rest of 2017 were wide of the mark, with the club’s record signing likely to return for a crucial run of games that includes matches against Benfica, Chelsea and in-form Newcastle.

Mourinho has also confirmed that defender Phil Jones will be fit to face Tottenham alongside Bailly, which will give him the option of playing what appears to be his first choice centre-back pairing for a game that will be crucial to United’s Premier League challenge.

The United manager laid down the gauntlet to his players when he accused them of lacking the stomach for the battle in last weekend’s shock 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield and he will expect a feisty response in front of a sell-out Old Trafford crown in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday.

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