Peter Schmeichel defends Jose Mourinho amid Antonio Conte row

Mourinho was unable to provide an update on the potential return of Paul Pogba, who is still struggling with a hamstring problem.

Veteran striker Ibrahimovic has been out of action since sustaining a serious knee ligament injury in the Europa League quarter-final clash against Anderlecht at Old Trafford last April.

"Paul is not here".

Said Mourinho: "I knew how good the goalkeeper was, I told the players that".

"Zlatan is here, he's working here, under our control, he's working so, so, so, so hard but he's not to be back in the next week or couple of weeks".

Conte responded his adversary, saying: "If he is speaking about me, I think he has to think about his team and start looking at himself, not others". Sometime I feel being good defensively is a crime, but that is a way of getting results. Conte reacted angrily after hearing Mourinho appeared to accuse him of "crying" over injuries and lack of squad depth.

That was interpreted as a thinly veiled criticism of rival Antonio Conte, at his former club Chelsea, and provoked an angry response from the Italian.

"Everybody knows every manager wants to have all the players available it's just then a question of the way you position yourself in relation to that, the best way you think is to do it". "We brought the kid on today, Scott McTominay, because I had no other solution".

"It doesn't mean that I don't miss the players, it doesn't mean that I wouldn't like them to be here and available for us. I would like them to be here for us".

Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo remain sidelined for United but Jones is expected to be fit according to Mourinho. Mourinho wants a reaction out of him, but the only way he's going to get it is if he plays.

"Without any pressure, we knew the goal would arrive", Mourinho said after the Benfica game which was settled by a awful error by the Portuguese side's 18-year-old keeper. "I love his banter and I think his enthusiasm for the game of football, and what he is around the complex, speaks volumes about him".

  • Rosalie Stanley