United boss Jose Mourinho doubts Mkhitaryan's and Carrick's fitness for EFL Cup final

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that he doubts that both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick will be fit for Sunday's EFL Cup final, after picking up knocks in the 1-0 win over Saint Etienne.

A big loss

Mourinho headed to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard with a strong side, for what many thought was a tie that was already finished after a comfortable 3-0 victory in the first leg at Old Trafford last Thursday.

It was the Armenian winger that grabbed the only goal of the clash with an excellent finish, however he was taken off and replaced soon after by Marcus Rashford with what looked like an hamstring injury.

Carrick was forced off soon after and the duo's fitness will leave Mourinho sweating ahead of Sunday's final with Southampton.

The manager conceded that he personally believes that they will be out of contention for the clash in the capital.

"Honestly, I don’t think so," Mourinho admitted to manutd.com. "I think Henrikh and Michael are both out."

"But, this is based on my experience," he said hopefully to the club's website. "Not on my medical knowledge and not based on tests and what they have to do tomorrow."

"I think no chance," the coach conceded. "But, I repeat, it’s just my experience."

"A calf, a hamstring, even if it’s a minor injury, some fibre damage," he told his post-match press conference. "I think they're out.”

"Not having them before the final is complicated," Mourinho added. "But Marouane and Bastian, two players who do not play so much, gave good answers."

Used to the difficult draws

Their French counterparts proved to be quite a pushover for the Red Devils, but as they head into the last 16 it seems it will only get tougher from here.

The likes of Roma, Lyon, Fiorentina and Shalke still remain in the competition, but when asked what draw he would prefer Mourinho stated that he is looking for somewhere close to home.

"Not really I am used to difficult draws," he said when speaking of the last-16 draw. "I think now 16 teams, strong teams, some of them coming from the Champions League."

"If I could choose," the 47-year-old told the press. "I would choose not to travel a lot because we have Chelsea in between the two matches and Middlesbrough away after the second match."

"I would prefer Olympique Lyon which is two hours’ flight," Mourinho concluded. "I would prefer something close."