Jose Mourinho is furious with international friendlies following Manchester United’s recent injury crisis.
Phil Jones was forced to leave Gareth Southgate’s squad with a toe injury which he endured in training after a poor challenge by Chris Smalling, who then pulled out himself with a leg injury after starting England’s friendly defeat in Germany.
The duo were out of action for England’s 2-0 World Cup qualification win over Lithuania and Mourinho was not pleased with the situation, questioning why there was even a need for mid-season friendlies.
“I am totally against the friendly matches,” he said. “I think friendly matches for the national team only make sense before the final phases.
“A couple of weeks before the Euros or a couple of weeks before the World Cup makes sense. But mid-season friendly matches mixed with qualification matches, I don’t think that makes sense.
“On top of that the matches are not really big matches so I am not a big fan. But I think one day I will be there so I cannot be very critical.
“I don’t know how but both central defenders got injured in the English camp even before the match.
“The match was on the Sunday against Lithuania and they were injured in the training session.
“I watched Valencia’s match yesterday in Ecuador, Marcos Rojo in Bolivia, but they don’t arrive until Thursday afternoon.
“If you compare our situation with our opponents, West Bromwich Albion, only one player on international duty. They had time to work, time to rest and prepare. It’s going to be hard.”
There were 13 players on international duty over the last week, however, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Sergio Romero made a long trip to South America, delaying their return until Thursday afternoon.
Mourinho’s players face West Brom when the Premier League returns on Saturday and the Portuguese boss claims the busy schedule of fixtures leaves his team at a disadvantage.