Ander Herrera Omitted for Tactical, Not Fitness Reasons Confirms Mourinho

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Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho omitted midfielder Ander Herrera from his squad in the 3-0 win over Basel in the UEFA Champions League group stages yesterday. The omission had nothing to do with any injury or fitness concerns; the Spaniard’s playing time was simply a casualty of the numbers game in United’s midfield.

It’s also indicative of the side’s depth at the position.

“No reasons to be out,” Mourinho told his postgame news conference. “We are playing only with two midfield players, with Matic and Pogba, which are playing really well and without reason to change.”

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“The only match that we decide to play with three [against Stoke] he played. Today we went back to two again and I had on the bench Carrick and Fellaini, which were also important players in the last season. We have a group of players and the players must be ready to play and not to play.”

Mourinho then went on to elaborate about the rotation.

“Ashley Young was not on the bench in the last match and today he started the match and he played for 90 minutes, and the next match you can have another surprise of some player that you think is going to play and is not going to play. It’s the squad we have, I have to use the players and that’s the life in clubs with squads of quality.”

Of course, Ander Herrera won’t be resting very long as Pogba played just 17 minutes yesterday, leaving early due to a hamstring injury. Pogba hobbled off the pitch and later left Old Trafford on crutches. Herrera is likely to go right back into the starting lineup, and even without the Pogba set back, was going to see a lot of time given the workload ahead in the near future for United.

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Sunday they host Everton in a Premier League fixture that begins a five match in 13 days stretch.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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