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Regain fitness during the break, Mourinho tells injured players

Jose Mourinho

London, November 7: With Premier League going for an international break, Manchester United manager Jose manager wants the injured players to make maximum use of it to regain full fitness.

United midfielders Michael Carrick (calf) and Paul Pogba (hamstring) have been injured since September while long-term absentees Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo, who sustained knee injuries last season, are yet to recover.

United were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, a defeat which increased the gap between them and Premier League leaders and neighbours Manchester City by eight points.

United will resume their Premier League campaign after the international break on November 18 by hosting Newcastle United and Mourinho wants his players to be the fittest lot by then.

"We have the group of players which are the ones that we hope will recover as soon as possible," Mourinho was quoted as saying in the club's website.

"They have to work every day but they are in a good position now. Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Rojo, Fellaini. They are in good positions so I think we can go into this part of the season, the Christmas period, and after, in a strong position."

With nine matches to be played across all competitions in December, Mourinho is hopeful that his key players, who were not selected for their national teams for this month's friendlies, get a well-earned break.

"They (international players) all disappear and then we have a couple... like (Chris) Smalling and (Ander) Herrera and they really deserve, after so many matches, to have a week off which I'm going to give them," Mourinho said.

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    Story first published: Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 14:11 [IST]
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