Mourinho shorn of midfield options

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho concedes he is short on numbers in the middle of the park as they prepare to face CSKA Moscow in Russia on Wednesday.

The Red Devils jetted off to the Russian capital on Monday without midfield trio Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini, as well as defender Phil Jones.

Mourinho has just two recognised central midfielders at his disposal for the midweek UEFA Champions League Group A clash, in Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera, although Daley Blind can do the job in that position.

Fellaini was added to the injury list after taking a knock to his ankle in the 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, and the Portuguese coach must now attempt to come up with the right balance.

"I won't have Fellaini, I won't have Pogba, we won't have Carrick, so all three midfield players that we lose for this match," Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference.

"So there are not many solutions, but we try not to focus on individual battles or in specific areas on the pitch.

"We try to focus on the globality [team as a whole] and we are going to have a team with quality, with balance, to try to win the match which is our objective."

Mourinho admits Fellaini was fortunate to escape serious injury in the challenge from Saints forward Shane Long at the weekend, but reckons the Belgium international will be back sooner rather than later.

"It was only when I saw it on TV that I realised Fellaini was very lucky," he added.

"It could be a much worse situation but in a moment where we don't have Pogba and Carrick he becomes even more important than he always is.

"I do not expect Fellaini to be out for a long time. There is no pressure on him [in the international break] so hopefully he'll be back for us."

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