Saturday, 6 January 2018

WATCH VIDEO-Manchester United's Jose Mourinho apologised after substituting one of his players.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
-Jose Mourinho has revealed he apologised to Henrikh Mkhitaryan after substituting the midfielder at half-time during the FA Cup victory over Derby County.

-Mkhitaryan, 28, was handed just his second start in two months against the Championship side at Old Trafford on Friday.

-But he lasted just 45 minutes before he was replaced with Romelu Lukaku, who scored the second goal in a 2-0 win.

However, Mourinho said afterwards his decision had been "unfair."

He told a news conference: "I didn't like what I did, unfair, he didn't deserve.

"He was playing well, he was not playing bad, he had a couple of mis-possessions, but he was giving a good dynamic to the team and my feeling was that [Marcus] Rashford is not going to score a goal and because of that I am not going to lose time and I am going to play Romelu and I am going to sacrifice a player and Mkhi was the one I sacrificed.

"But it is not something I normally do and at half-time I apologised to him in front of the people because he didn't deserve it."

In Mkhitaryan's absence, Lukaku came off the bench to score his first goal in five games.

After failing to celebrate his last two goals against Bournemouth and former club West Brom, the Belgium international was particularly animated when he beat Derby goalkeeper Scott Carson in stoppage time.

And Mourinho suggested it was because the goal moved the squad a step closer to a warm-weather training camp in Dubai.

The players will jet off on Monday, provided Stoke do not require a replay against Coventry in their FA Cup third-round tie.

Stoke are the next visitors to Old Trafford on Jan. 15, but that game will be brought forward to Jan. 13 if Mark Hughes' side face a replay against Coventry on either Jan. 16 or Jan. 17.

Mourinho said: "If we have a replay we don't go to Dubai and everybody wants to go, everybody wants to go.

"Did you see the players celebrating the second goal? Did you see the players celebrating the second goal?

"Everyone wants to have a good week of good training, good facilities in the sun, but now we still depend on the Stoke result, because if Stoke gets a draw we don't go to Dubai.

"We go Monday but if they get a draw we don't go."

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