Jose Mourinho says Manchester United must take Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final clash with Bristol City ‘really seriously’ given the standard of the Championship and has also hinted Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return to the match day squad.
The Reds travel to Ashton Gate to face a high-flying City side, who currently sit third in the Championship and have already knocked three top-flight clubs out of the competition.
United boss Mourinho admits he will not be making too many changes to his squad given the high level of football in the second tier, but feels Mkhitaryan could feature for the first time since the win over Brighton in November.
“He [Mkhitaryan] can [be back],” Mourinho told reporters following the 2-1 win over West Brom. “I am making a few changes for the match, but not many because Bristol City are one of the best teams in the Championship.
“For me now, the Championship is not the Championship of five or 10 years ago. The Championship is now high-quality teams with lots of players that could be playing in the Premier League easily. So we need to take the game really seriously. I am going to make a few changes and it is possible Micki is involved.”
Mourinho also reiterated why the Armenian has found himself out of the Reds’ matchday squads of late.
“At the moment, we are playing [Juan] Mata, [Marcus] Rashford, [Jesse] Lingard or [Anthony] Martial and [Romelu] Lukaku,” he added. “So, on the bench, we have [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and one of the other ones, Martial or Rashford. So there is no space for everyone because you need balance on the bench too.”
Sergio Romero is an option to keep goal after appearing in both previous matches in the competition, particularly considering David De Gea was subjected to a couple of bruising challenges at West Brom. Antonio Valencia appears unlikely to play after suffering a hamstring problem, while Axel Tuanzebe was not involved in the Reserves’ 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Monday to hint at his possible inclusion in the squad.
Mourinho has suggested Nemanja Matic has been carrying an injury of late but felllow midfielder Paul Pogba is back from a three-game suspension.