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José Mourinho pulls out stats sheet to defend use of Marcus Rashford

José Mourinho pulls out stats sheet to defend use of Marcus Rashford

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho turned on the pundits once more on Friday as he launched a detailed defence of his use of England global striker Marcus Rashford.

With the first global break of the season behind them, United had to do some tinkering for Saturday's clash with the Hornets, who enjoyed a flawless start to their Premier League campaign going into this weekend's game.

In 2017-18, 35 Premier League matches, eight in Champions League, five in FA Cup, three League Cup matches and the European Super Cup final.

Rashford is still only 20 years old, and Mourinho's statistics reveal that he is being played more than any of England's other young players.

Marcus Rashford got the chance to play all 180 minutes of England's two recent internationals in the global break, against Spain and Switzerland, after Raheem Sterling dropped out through injury.

For United, he was taken off after 60 and 45 minutes in their first two EPL matches against Leicester City (won 2-1) and Brighton (lost 3-2).

United will be without Marcus Rashford as he starts a three-match suspension following his sending off at Burnley while Marouane Fellaini will be handed a late fitness test after picking up a knock on worldwide duty.

Jose Mourinho responded by throwing on Anthony Martial for Jesse Lingard for the final 15 minutes as the visitors looked to restore their two-goal cushion.

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The problem for Rashford, and Southgate, is that he is not getting to play in his best position at United. He's not Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

He's suspended so probably you should remind them he is suspended and can not play.

The arrival of Alexis Sanchez in January 2018 increased competition for places at United and meant Rashford became a bit-part player.

Marcus Rashford has yet to start for Manchester United this season.

Mourinho said the criticism of his use of Rashford was such that he would probably be condemned for not playing him against Watford, even though he is suspended. "He's not Dominic Calvert-Lewin".

"Since I was here, he was never one day out of selection because of my decision, only if he was injured or suspended".

"Speaking about Marcus, I think I can expect that Sunday I'm going to be highly criticised for not playing him tomorrow", he told reporters ahead of United's game against Watford (via the Manchester Evening News).

Mourinho was more forthcoming when discussing four players whose contracts expire at the end of the current season - Luke Shaw, Juan Mata, Ashley Young and Ander Herrera - plus goalkeeper David de Gea who is in contract talks despite having one year, plus an additional option of one season, on his deal.


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