Paul Pogba substitution tactical, not because of injury - Jose Mourinho

Thomas Christiansen

Thomas Christiansen

Jose Mourinho's Manchester United lie an eye-watering 16 points behind leaders Manchester City after Matt Ritchie fired embattled Newcastle to their first home Premier League win since October.

"In this country, the intensity and the aggression are a great things and the referees are there to sort the good aggression from the really unsafe situations".

"A lateral free-kick is not even a lateral free-kick from a unsafe position. (Rafa) Benitez knows how to get points so I think it is going to be hard".

While Weigl offers a tranquil, rhythmic presence, Mourinho might be more attracted to the bombastic, all-action displays of Lazio powerhouse Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. But they fought like animals to have luck on their side.

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"If you want to go to that level you have to attract the best players like we did with Alexis, (Nemanja) Matic and (Paul) Pogba and so on and don't let our best players to go". But, this week, I got confused when some people say a box-to-box [player] has to play free of defensive duties - that's not a box-to-box, that's a box in the box and staying in that box [laughs] and doesn't move from that box.

Despite just being a point and place above the relegation zone, United may not find things easy against the Magpies, especially given the tactical change manager Rafa Benitez is hinting at. I think this country produced a lot of wonderful box-to-box players and I had the pleasure to coach some of them. Yet his blend of physicality and technique is exactly what the Portuguese coach loves and would really allow United to overpower opponents, while his height and aerial ability would offset the potential departure of Marouane Fellaini. Energetic enough, and managed to get stuck in. Jesus Gamez is the lone absentee here for the Magpies, as the Spanish full-back is getting "healthier, but not ready" to play yet as he rehabs from an ankle problem.

"I am not thinking about that (beating Mourinho)". It's shown in games this season, where the transition from defence to attack has been poor at times, and in big games like Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge or Tottenham Hotspur away at Wembley and Manchester City at home. Hopefully it will be the same against Bournemouth. It is good to see him praising our players, but that is the only way for us and I am really proud of them. But I don't like using the word protect because it sounds like I am only concerned about the top players.

The pre-match build-up starts at 1.30pm on Sky Sports Premier League and at 2.15pm on Sky Sports Main Event.

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