Jose Mourinho says he is hurt that he left out Dutchman Memphis Depay and Ashley Young in the squad that thrashed West Ham 4-1 in the EFL Cup this week.
The Portuguese tactician was banned from the touchline, so he had to see the game from a ‘secret’ location. However, Mourinho admitted he felt ‘hurt’ that both players were left off the match day squad despite being fit.
United qualified for the last four courtesy of goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial who both grabbed a brace. Mourinho made five changes to the squad that started against the Hammers the weekend before, playing a 1-1 draw. In the EFL quarter final clash, summer addition Henrikh Mkhitaryan paired with Anthony Martial on the wings while skipper Wayne Rooney lined up behind Ibrahimovic.
“It hurts me, it hurts me. It hurts me a lot to leave Depay and Ashley Young at home. It hurts me a lot like last week, when I had to leave out Martial, and next week I’ll leave another one.
“We have so many players for these positions and it’s good for me but it’s bad for them. Football players want to play matches and I cannot give to everyone at the same time, so it hurts me,” said Mourinho.
Mkhitaryan was impressive during the clash, winning the Man of the Match award. He has struggled since his £26 million move to England, but with more playing time of recent he seems to be getting more comfortable.
“I am so happy with his performance because it was against a Premier League team with Premier League qualities and characteristics,” Mourinho said. The coach said he is seeing more of the qualities that convinced him to get the player after his display in the game.
“We are really happy. We know the reason we bought him and were waiting for his reputation, it looks like it’s coming,” the coach added.