Jose Mourinho offers heartfelt Man United apology to Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Jose Mourinho says sorry to Henrikh Mkhitaryan for taking him off at half time in Man United's FA Cup clash with Derby
Jose Mourinho has revealed that he apologised to Henrikh Mkhitaryan for taking him off at half-time of Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Derby in the FA Cup on Friday night.
The Armenia international started the game for the Red Devils at Old Trafford but was hauled off at half-time as goals from Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku secured Manchester United’s progression to the fourth round.
Mkhitaryan has fallen dramatically out of favour at Manchester United in recent weeks and seems to be struggling to win the trust of Mourinho.
However, the Portuguese coach has moved to explain his decision to bring Mkhitaryan off at the break and insisted that it was just a tactical decision.
Speaking at his post-match news conference Mourinho said: “[It was] unfair [to take Mkhitaryan off] and I told him that at half-time.
“I didn’t like what I did. He didn’t deserve it, he was playing well, he wasn’t playing bad. He had a couple of missed passes but he was playing well and giving a good dynamic to the team.
“My feeling was just that Rashford is not going to score a goal and because of that I’m not going to lose time and I’m going to play Romelu [Lukaku] so then I had to sacrifice a player.
“Micki was the one that I sacrificed but it’s something that I don’t normally do but I did at half-time and apologised to him in front of other people because he didn’t deserve it.”
Mkhitaryan will be hoping to win a place back in the Manchester United team when the Red Devils host Stoke City in the Premier League on Monday week.
Manchester United are currently in second place in the Premier League table and 15 points behind leaders Manchester City after 22 games of the new campaign.
The Red Devils finished in sixth place last term but qualified for the Champions League by winning the Europa League under Mourinho.