Jose Mourinho has said Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Phil Jones will not play in Manchester United’s Europa League clash with St Etienne on Thursday.
Old Trafford plays host to the first leg of the round-of-32 tie on Thursday, with Mourinho’s men looking to take a comfortable advantage to France next week.
Rooney, Carrick and Jones were absent from the 23-man squad at the Aon Training Complex for training on Wednesday morning.
Jones has been absent since going off in the Premier League match with Hull due to a foot complaint, while Rooney and Carrick were on the bench against Watford.
And Mourinho told a news conference: “Phil is still recovering.
“Wayne and Michael are… I don’t want to say injuries because I don’t think we are speaking about injuries.
“We are speaking about little problems and protection for these problems, so they are out tomorrow.”
Mourinho confirmed that Marcos Rojo would be available for Thursday’s match but said neither he nor Luke Shaw would make his back four as he plans to keep faith with Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind.
He said United were intent on success in the Europa League despite their desire to play in the Champions League.
He had been strongly critical of the competition while at Chelsea and, referring to the club’s 2013 success under Rafa Benitez before his return to Stamford Bridge, even said in a BT documentary in 2015: “It is not good for a big club to go there and win it.”
However, he told his news conference on Wednesday: “It’s not a competition we want to play in but we show it respect.
“We cannot choose competitions so we play competitions to win, and I think it’s also a good way to give the team, as a team, experience and I think European experience is always a plus.”
Asked whether he felt progress in the Europa League could hit United’s bid for a top-four Premier League finish, he said: “No — but if you ask me do I want to beat St Etienne and progress in the competition, I will tell you yes.
“We know that it can be really difficult, but we also know that we don’t throw away competitions.
“We are going to play to win and to progress.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.
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