It was an all-around positive press conference on Wednesday afternoon as Manchester United boss José Mourinho confirmed that there were no fresh injury worries to report from the squad ahead of tomorrow’s big match at Old Trafford.
The Reds face dangerous Spanish outfit Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-final, second leg after returning home with a good 1-0 advantage - which could’ve and should’ve been more – from Balaídos, making them hot favourites to progress to the final in Stockholm.
25-man squad until end of season
Mourinho announced that all players currently sidelined through injury – Zlatan Ibrahimović, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Timothy Fosu-Mensah – will not be available until next season; leaving a squad of 25 players to pick from during the run-in.
That leaves 22 outfield players including reserve regulars Axel Tuanzebe, Matthew Olosunde, Matthew Willock, Scott McTominay, Devonte Redmond and Demetri Mitchell - who have all been training with the first team amid the recent injury crisis - to choose from.
The manager stated that all of his fit players are “ready and fresh” for the fixture of huge importance as well as insisted they all have “a big desire to play” on what should be a classic evening of European football in Manchester with an electrifying atmosphere, and added that everyone at the club will be “giving everything they can.”
Wayne Rooney set to start
Whenever a player joins José Mourinho at a pre-match press conference it tends to mean that they will be starting, and today's guest was club captain Wayne Rooney which would suggest that changes will be made from the victorious side in the reverse fixture.
The decision could raise questions considering Rooney's poor showings this season, most recently at the Emirates on Sunday, but the 31-year-old has crucial experience on colossal stages like this one and insists that he can "help the team" if played more while also announcing that he'd like to stay at United next term.
The big prize at the end of this competition might not be the actual trophy - but instead Champions League qualification - and Rooney says that the team "want to win it" because not only is it "important" for such a prestigious club to be in the biggest competitions, but also because the Europa League would be the biggest feat achieved in the last three years.