Mata, Rashford good as substitutes: United’s Mourinho

Manchester, Jan 3 (IANS) Manchester United’s chief coach Jose Mourinho has said it is better to bring on Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford as substitutes since they have more impact on the outcome of a match in that role.

United started 2017 on a high, winning 2-0 against West Ham United on Monday, with goals from Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Rashford, introduced in the second half, was brilliant, getting involved in both the goals and bagging the Man of the Match award as well.

“It was a difficult match but I had ammunition on the bench. I had Mata and Rashford, who were crucial in both matches when coming off the bench. In these fixtures it is very important to have people on the bench, capable of winning the game,” Mourinho told the club’s official website after the match.

“I had a feeling to start Mata and Rashford today, but I think it is better for them to come from the bench when everyone is dying and the decision was proven right.”

On star goalkeeper David de Gea’s contribution, the manager said, “We had a big chance in the first half but they had a good shot, Antonio went face to face with David. It was very important.”

“They also had Andy Carroll on the bench and I know that when they were losing, he was coming for sure. In this moment I felt it was time for a proper central defender and time to bring Chris Smalling into the game.”

With their sixth win in a row, sixth-placed United have 39 points, the same as Tottenham Hotspurs, who are ahead on goal differential.