José Mourinho says Manchester United semi-final places are up for grabs

Mourinho described his players as "masters of complication" after their limp display, which came despite the United manager naming a strong starting line-up including Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba. So it is not rotating, because rotating looks like a player that plays against Bournemouth is to give a rest to somebody that is going to play against Spurs in the semi-final.

However the United boss wrote in his programme notes ahead of the 0-1 defeat to West Brom at Old Trafford on Sunday: "Winning a derby is always good". It is an opportunity for some people to play and try to get a place for Spurs.

Mourinho warned that he will not allow reputations or price tags to cloud his thinking for Wembley after admitting that some players had blown their chance by the dismal showing against West Brom.

'I only know one criteria.

Although they play Bournemouth beforehand on Wednesday (7.45pm), Mourinho has suggested he will choose the team for the trip to Wembley based exclusively on performances. Despite Pogba under-performing, he is clearly still a world-class player when on song and Mourinho has a history of letting top talent go, only to see them flourish elsewhere.

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After rejoining Manchester United in a then world-record fee of £89million from Juventus in 2016, big things were expected of Pogba.

Mourinho said the risk of a red card was partly why Pogba was replaced but stressed the France worldwide was no worse than some of the players who played the full match.

The United manager remains confident in his own ability but said his side must replicate City's consistency next season. Pogba was hooked before the hour, although he had not had a bad game and Mourinho explained it was due to being on a yellow card, suggesting he is keen the Frenchman is available for the weekend.

"I have met players of 30 years old who were not consistent at all and I found boys of 18, 19, 20 who were real men, real pros". And playing with only two midfield players, you can not play with one player in risk of not being able to make a foul. By losing lots of balls with turnings, flicks and tricks, the midfield players and central defenders are at risk: one late challenge, and they are out.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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