Mourinho tight-lipped on potential appeal for Pogba red card

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was tight-lipped on any potential appeal for Paul Pogba's red card, before also lauding the star.

Published : Dec 04, 2017 22:06 IST

Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card against Arsenal, meaning he will miss the next three league fixtures
Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card against Arsenal, meaning he will miss the next three league fixtures

Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card against Arsenal, meaning he will miss the next three league fixtures

Jose Mourinho refused to confirm or deny whether Manchester United has appealed Paul Pogba's red card at Arsenal, but he did reveal that the midfielder will face CSKA Moscow on Tuesday in a bid to maintain his "phenomenal" form.

Pogba was dismissed in United's 3-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday for catching Hector Bellerin with his studs, meaning he is suspended for the Manchester derby against City on Sunday.

Read: 10-man Manchester United holds on for crucial three points

It came as a major blow for both Pogba and United, which has dominated matches and played with swagger since the Frenchman's return from injury.

But Mourinho was not interested in discussing any potential appeal ahead of the visit of CSKA, before going on to praise Pogba's form since his comeback.

When asked if he would disclose whether or not United has appealed, Mourinho said: "Nope, he plays tomorrow. He's not suspended for Champions League, so he plays tomorrow.

"He's very happy to play tomorrow. It's the next match, the match that matters. He plays tomorrow.

"Of course he's maybe a bit tired and has only had a few days to recover, but he's very happy and he'll try to keep his momentum, because since he's been back he's been phenomenal."

Mourinho surprised many by omitting Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the matchday squad for the win at Arsenal, but the coach says the club is still managing his comeback from injury and he will therefore miss Tuesday's match.

The Portuguese hinted at springing a surprise with regards to including one of his injury worries in the squad, though he did not say who.

"Zlatan is not injured," Mourinho said. "He sometimes needs some very hard work on the muscular area which supports knee which had problems.

"When a period of hard work comes, also the fatigue comes. To work really hard for a certain period of time, he cannot play in these days, so we decided to do that after Watford.

"He's on that cycle of work now, divided between gym and pitch. He'll be out again tomorrow [Tuesday], but back to normal work after CSKA.

"All other players who were out are still out. But I could make a surprise and one who isn't available may play."

Read: 'De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world'

One player who could be in line for a rare appearance is Luke Shaw. This left-back has only played 47 minutes of senior football so far this season, but Mourinho confirmed he will at least be in the squad because he "deserves" an opportunity.

Mourinho said: "I have to think [about who plays]. I am going to make a few – but not too many – changes.

"We didn't qualify yet, we didn't finish first in the group yet. The other clubs also involved in qualifying, so I need to keep certain balance in the team.

"But when you speak about Luke Shaw, he is working to have an opportunity, and sooner or later an opportunity will arrive, because he deserves a chance.

"Selected tomorrow – for sure. But starting or on the bench? I cannot answer."

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