Man Utd team news: Mourinho confirms costly blow, plus restriction in place on key star

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Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that defender Phil Jones will be ruled out of Saturday’s clash with Brighton at Old Trafford.

Jones suffered a setback while on international duty earlier this month as he aggravated a hamstring injury, which in turn forced him to miss his first Premier League game of the season against Newcastle United last time out.

However, he hasn’t been able to recover this week, with freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery noting in his tweet below, that Mourinho confirmed the setback in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

It will be a major blow for Mourinho, as while Man Utd have conceded just six goals so far this season, giving them the best defensive record in the Premier League, three of those goals have come when Jones hasn’t been on the pitch.

The latest came against Newcastle last weekend, while the Red Devils conceded twice after he limped off injured in the defeat at Huddersfield last month.

That in itself is a big indication as to how crucial he has been in the backline this season, and his absence will hurt United, although they’ll still be confident of picking up a positive result this weekend.

In addition, it’s noted that Eric Bailly also misses out and so Mourinho will have to consider his other options as to who starts.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese tactician also confirmed that midfielder Paul Pogba will be on a minutes restriction as Man Utd look to protect him having only recently returned from a long injury layoff.

The French international was sidelined since September with a hamstring injury before making his comeback against Newcastle, and so United sensibly don’t want to rush him too much in making a full recovery.

Mourinho suggested that he won’t play much more than 65 minutes for now, and with such a busy fixture schedule coming up ahead of the festive period and around Christmas too, the last thing he wants is to be without a leading figure in his side for a prolonged period of time again.

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