Mourinho says captain Valencia could miss festive fixtures due to hamstring injury
Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Antonio Valencia could miss Manchester United’s festive programme with a hamstring injury after he joined Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick on the sidelines.
The United captain limped out of last weekend’s win at West Brom and is set to be ruled out for the Christmas fixtures against Leicester, Burnley, Southampton and Everton.
Bailly underwent surgery on his ankle on Friday and could be missing for between two and three months.
United want to make sure Fellaini’s knee problems are resolved before he returns in the New Year, while there is no sign of Carrick returning after a heart scare.
Previewing Saturday’s game at Leicester, Mourinho said: ‘Valencia is out as you know. Eric Bailly is having surgery right now, or is just finishing or is still there.
‘Fellaini is not available. I don’t know (over festive period). Michael Carrick, no. But not for the Christmas period.’
United go into the game on the back of Wednesday’s shock Carabao Cup defeat at Bristol City which ended with United returning at 5am after their charter flight was prevented from taking off due to fog.
Mourinho questioned the attitude of some of his players after the game, but on Friday he denied that it may put their futures at Old Trafford in jeopardy.
‘No, I don’t make decisions based on only one game or one feeling or one night, not at all,’ he added.
‘First of all, you always like to speak about the loser. Probably you should speak more about the winner, what I told after the match. They were lucky but they fought a lot to try to be lucky and it’s one of the beautiful things that can happen in football when a team from a lower division kills the giant.
‘Football has changed so much, lower division is more professional and that could happen even more.
‘I could be critical with my players but they did enough to win. They lost when they were the only team people believed could win. So we move on and we move on quickly because we have another match.
Asked what the expectations are for United as they hit the halfway point of the season 11 points behind Manchester City, Mourinho said: ‘I don’t know. You say, you are the ones, not me.
‘Expectation is to go to every match and try to win, which is what we do. The matches we lost we fought until the last second.
‘The matches we lost if I’m not wrong 2-1, 2-1, 1-0, so we really manage to fight in every match to try the best result and nothing more than that we can do, we can promise, we go to every match and do our best.’