Jose Mourinho heaps praise on Man United defender for Basel performance

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has praised the performance of Marcus Rojo during Wednesday’s 1-0 Champions League defeat to FC Basel. The Argentina international made his first appearance of the season for United after a seven-month lay-off with a knee ligament damage.

The 27-year-old managed just 45 minutes of competitive action for the Under-23s prior to the game, but he played the full 90 minutes at St Jakob-Park, where he made crucial interceptions while seeing his long-range effort rattle the cross-bar during the first-half.

Speaking after the game, the Portuguese tactician was quick to speak about the importance of Rojo, who put in a solid display alongside Chris Smalling at the heart of the United backline, he said: “I agree with you, I think he played very well. He could be playing a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t need to rush or push him into that situation.

“But he was training with the team for quite a long time, we had to try 45 minutes with the Under-23 team, we knew that Marcos was ready, the doubt is 90 minutes, less than 90. But he controlled the first-half really easy, he didn’t have to be in physical demanding and he controlled very well his game. So we are happy to have him and we need that.”

With Phil Jones and Eric Bailly struggling with minor niggles this term, Rojo’s presence would provide a much-needed relief for Jose Mourinho as he can bank on the Argentine’s services ahead of Victor Lindelof, who has made significant mistakes in his early Premier League career.

Rojo himself has struggled with injuries during the course of his United career, and the club’s faithful will hope that he stays unscathed during the congested festive schedule in December.

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