SEVILLE: Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho praised youngster Scott McTominay for his performance in his side`s goalless Champions League draw at Sevilla on Wednesday but questioned the club`s medical staff after Ander Herrera was forced off injured.
Spanish midfielder Herrera made his first appearance in three weeks after returning from a hamstring injury as Mourinho left record signing Paul Pogba out of the Champions League last-16 first leg. Yet the Portuguese coach was forced to call on the out-of-form France midfielder after 17 minutes when Herrera was forced off with what appeared to be another hamstring problem.
"I think it is a bad injury," Mourinho told reporters after his side withstood frequent attacks from Vincenzo Montella`s adventurous yet wasteful side. "He had a small injury that stopped him from playing the last couple of matches, but the medical department said he was 100 percent ready for last Saturday (against Huddersfield Town).
"We didn’t play him to give him more time to work and more protection, but it looks like he was not fully fit." Pogba has not completed 90 minutes for over a month and Mourinho again faced questions from reporters about his relationship with the 89.1 million pounds ($124 million) signing after the draw with Sevilla.
The Portuguese, however, pointed to the steely display of 21-year-old McTominay, who was making his eighth competitive start for United and only his second in the Champions League. "He had a fantastic performance, he looked a senior player, a player with great maturity, with tactical sense, with a sense of responsibility," Mourinho said.
"He was good in possession, good in pressing. I think he looked like a man with dozens and dozens of matches in the Champions League when this was only his second. If I was one of you (reporters), I would ask if the Manchester United manager agrees that Scott McTominay had a fantastic performance, and my answer would be `yes`."