Carrick and Mkhitaryan doubts for EFL Cup final, reveals Mourinho

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has revealed match-winner Henrikh Mkhitaryan and fellow midfielder Michael Carrick are likely to miss Sunday's EFL Cup final against Southampton.

Mkhitaryan scored the only goal of the game in United's 1-0 Europa League last-32 victory over St Etienne before limping out of the action to be replaced by Marcus Rashford.

Carrick also had to be withdrawn, and Mourinho, whose side secured a 4-0 aggregate victory, told BT Sport 3: "You can be injured leaving your house, you can be injured in the garden. You never know when and why.

"It's the result of the accumulation of matches you have always, the risk of it, but every time when somebody is missing it is an opportunity for another one.

"Obviously they are important players for us and not to have them both for the final is complicated but I think Marouane (Fellaini) and Bastian (Schweinsteiger) - two players who are normally not playing too much - is a good answer.

"I don't say that (that they will definitely miss out), I just say what I feel. It's three days (before the final), a hamstring and a calf. Even if it's a minor injury I think three days is no time."

Juan Mata admits confidence is high in the United camp ahead of the Wembley date with Saints and said: "We knew it was going to be a tough atmosphere, their supporters are great.

"But from the first minute I think we were very professional and scored one goal which made it easier for us and we're very happy because it's not just about qualifying but about winning and keeping us in a good stride and going into the final on Sunday with confidence.

"It was the best way to face a final - qualifying, winning and going into the final with confidence."

Defender Chris Smalling felt the atmosphere in the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard worked in the visitors' favour.

"I think their crowd helped us to be fair, they made sure that we didn't go through the motions and it was a proper game and I think we did a good job from start to finish," Smalling said.

"If we can keep this run going, who knows what can happen?"


More in this Section

Stephen Kenny: We must focus on ourselves - not Cork - in title run-in

Cavan name new senior football manager

Spike O'Sullivan to face former world champion next month

Northern Ireland midfielder calls time on 14-year international career


Today's Stories

It wasn't just the sun which shone brightly this summer........

Hurling can’t be Gaelic football's barometer

No country for old men in modern intercounty hurling

A finale in keeping with a season to remember. With Limerick the last men standing

More From The Irish Examiner