Special One is set to pair up his experienced forward along with the teenage sensation at the Etihad
JOSE MOURINHO is set to unleash Marcus Rashford on Manchester City on Thursday — along with Wayne Rooney.
The United boss had Rash up front in training for the derby. Roo, who returned against Burnley on Sunday and scored, is set to keep his place but Paul Pogba will miss out.
Mourinho hailed his Manchester United ‘fighters’ — with the notable exceptions of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
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Ahead of tonight’s crunch derby at the Etihad, United boss Mourinho had another dig at his defensive duo for not battling through the pain barrier.
Jones is coming back from a broken toe while Smalling has a knee problem.
After Sunday’s 2-0 win over Burnley, Mourinho said the pair should make themselves available for tonight — and has now branded them too ‘cautious’.
He said: “It’s not just about them. It’s about the philosophy and mentality around them.”
Asked what that was, Mourinho added: “Cautious. Cautious. Just a cautious approach.”
When questioned if it was a case of modern players not putting their bodies on the line, he added: “Professional football at a high level, yes.”
The comments are sure to further sting England stars Jones and Smalling.
Mourinho said it does not mean he wants them out of the club — but you now struggle to see a way back for them.
It is all hands to the pump as United aim to add to the Community Shield and EFL Cup by also winning the Europa League and securing a top-four finish.
A win would move Mourinho’s side into that final Champions League spot at the expense of City.
Mourinho is delighted with the attitude of aces such as Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial, who came in from the cold to get the vital goals at Burnley.
He said: “We go with what we have, we fight with what we have.
“I trust the boys and we go with everything — our fighters — and we hope.
“They know they are important, let’s follow the example of Wayne and Martial.
“They came into a game we really needed to win and they gave more than we expected. For Wayne, I didn’t think he could go for 90 minutes but he did.
“The fact we are fighting for important things is good motivation. It keeps people together, to make an extra effort.”
United have Antonio Valencia back but will be without midfielder Paul Pogba, who limped off towards the end of the game at Turf Moor.
Mourinho added: “Paul played two hours against Anderlecht — and then 90 minutes against Burnley two days later.
“So there are injuries, especially the muscular ones, a consequence of accumulation of fatigue.”
Mourinho would prefer the silverware on offer in the Europa League, plus its Champions League place, to a top-four spot.
And he insisted he did not want to talk about his rivalry with City boss Pep Guardiola from their time in La Liga.
Yet before this season, Mourinho was the only man to have ever stopped Guardiola from winning a league title — when his Real Madrid side beat Barcelona to the Spanish crown in 2011-12.
The prize may be more modest this time. But Mourinho would still love to overhaul Guardiola and get that top-four place at his expense.