Jose Mourinho accuses Southgate of not protecting Jones
Jose Mourinho has accused Gareth Southgate of failing to protect Phil Jones after it emerged the Manchester United defender was given six painkilling injections.
Jose Mourinho has accused Gareth Southgate and England's medical team of failing to protect Phil Jones after it emerged the Manchester United defender was given six painkilling injections before the friendly against Germany.
Jones lasted only 25 minutes of the goalless draw at Wembley last Friday night before limping off with a thigh injury, and will miss United's home game against Newcastle on Saturday.
On the day Chelsea manager Antonio Conte hit back at Southgate for leaving midfielder Danny Drinkwater open to 'attack' over his refusal to join up with the squad, Mourinho expressed disbelief that the England boss had gone to such lengths to play Jones in a friendly when the 25-year-old was clearly unfit.
Manchester United defender Phil Jones came off against Germany with a thigh injury
United manager Jose Mourinho has said he was unhappy with how Jones was looked after
He said: 'In 17 years as a manager I don't have one single player that had injections of anaesthetic to play a friendly. Never. I am not an angel and I had players injected to play official matches, crucial matches, but a friendly?
'To get six local anaesthetic injections to play a friendly, I've never heard of that. But Phil Jones had it before the match. He was injected in the afternoon of the match. He didn't feel good during the warm-up. Between the warm-up and the start of the match, he had five more local injections to play the friendly. I have nothing more to say.'
The FA were on Friday said to be surprised by Mourinho's comments and believe they have done nothing wrong. It is understood that six injections is standard practice for a player carrying a knock on England duty, and that United's medical department did not raise any objections when they were given notice of Jones' treatment.
The FA were on Friday said to be surprised by Mourinho's comments about England
Mourinho also appeared to take a swipe at the Premier League clubs whose players pulled out of England's games against Germany and then Brazil on Tuesday but are likely to be fit this weekend.
In particular, the Tottenham trio of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks withdrew from international duty yet should play in the north London derby against Arsenal this lunchtime.
'Look, I expect that every player who was injured last week is not playing,' added Mourinho.
'If a player was injured Tuesday and the player is ready to play tomorrow, there is something that is going wrong.'
Dele Alli was one Tottenham players not to play in the friendlies against Germany and Brazil
The United manager confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo will return to the squad to face Newcastle.
For 36-year-old Ibrahimovic it represents an amazing recovery from a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee just seven months ago.
'He has shown incredible personality to fight such a significant injury,' said Mourinho.
Rojo tore a ligament in his left knee in the same game against Anderlecht in April and returns following a 45-minute run-out for the reserves in midweek. Pogba, meanwhile, has missed the last 12 games with a hamstring injury and Mourinho admits United have sorely missed their record signing.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will make a return ahead of schedule after training this week
'You can clearly see Manchester United this season before Paul's injury and after Paul's injury,' he said.
'There are qualities in our football that influence our approach in matches. With Pogba and without Pogba, as simple as that.'
Mourinho insisted there is no bad blood between him and Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, having shared a fierce rivalry when they were at Chelsea and Liverpool. 'I'm really good at forgetting little things, bad words or moments of conflict,' said Mourinho. 'The important thing is respect for the professional and person — I respect him in both ways.'
United will not be put off by Gareth Bale's injury problems as they prepare to renew their pursuit of the Real Madrid star next summer.