Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has explained his recent decision to exclude Eric Bailly from the starting lineup. The Ivorian has not featured for United since the stunning derby day victory over Manchester City.
Earlier this week, there had been the talk of a rift between Mourinho and Bailly but the Portuguese has clarified that the decision is purely tactical based with the likes of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones having a chance of participating for their countries at the World Cup.
He said: “There’s no situation, is fine, no injury. He [Bailly] is one of our five central defenders and honestly my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players at the World Cup but he’s the only central defender whose country is not in the World Cup so if I have to make a kind of more emotional effective choice to help my players he’s the one I’m not going to help.”
With the season coming to a close, it is perfectly understandable that the likes of Lindelof, Jones and Rojo are offered a regular run in the lineup but Smalling has surprisingly got the major share of the gametime despite not being on Gareth Southgate’s radar.
United require another four points from their remaining fixtures to assure themselves of the runner-up spot and the club’s faithful will desperately hope that the decision to bench Bailly does not hamper their chances of doing so.