London, July 15 : Unhappy with the early start of the club football season’s English Premier League, Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho said that he won’t include footballers returning from World Cup duty in the team’s August 10 opener.
“We cannot start the Premier League with our players that were in the World Cup, which is a shame for the most important club competition in Europe,” Mourinho was quoted as saying by RT.
Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Marouane Fellaini and David De Gea are some of the Man United players who were involved in Russia at the summer’s World Cup.
Mourinho said he plans to give his World Cup stars three weeks off once the tournament ends.
“Three weeks (off), which I think is the minimum that their body and soul needs, and which is the minimum for them to return and think about football again,” Mourinho said.
“To bring them back before that would be, ‘OK, I have you for the first match of the season, but maybe I don’t have you in three or four months.’
“I think three weeks is the minimum they need, which means that they’re going to be back in the week when the Premier League starts, which means they’re not ready to start the Premier League, which is I think difficult to understand, where we could have one more week to prepare everybody.”
Man United are set to play five July exhibition matches in the United States before visiting Bayern Munich on August 5 and Mourinho’s declaration might leave the Red Devils’ fans outside England high and dry. IANS