Mourinho slams squad choice critics

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was annoyed at criticism levelled at his squad choices and sarcastically remarked he would pick Gonzalo Higuain as left-back.

Mourinho kicks a ball to Marcelo during a game

By staff

The Portuguese was questioned as to the lack of defensive reinforcements available following recent injuries to Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa. In the side's mid-week Champions League clash with Dortmund, he had chosen to employ Raphael Varane in the centre of defence and utilised Sergio Ramos and Michael Essien as his fullbacks but the defence was error-prone and responsible for their defeat.

Essien, in particular, was rather poor in the game and Mourinho has been criticised in the Spanish media for not having a solid plan to cover for the absence of his key players. But the ex-Chelsea coach has become frustrated at having his squad choices questioned and sarcastically opined that Higuain could be employed as left-back to solve his left-back conundrum against Real Mallorca. 

"Tomorrow [Sunday] the left-back will be Higuain. He is fast, strong, he crosses well with his left foot and he scores goals," was his response to a query on the likely starting XI for Sunday's game.

"It is going to be a complicated match. Mallorca is a good team, they have a great coach, and their stadium is a difficult place to visit. We have to try and come home with the three points, but it is clear that it is going to be a very difficult game."

Mourinho was far more forthcoming about Ramos' fitness and indicated that the Spain international would be ready for the game. It had been feared by the club's medical staff that Ramos had also picked up an injury in Germany over the week and join the list of absent defenders. 

"Ramos is alright and can play. He is a player who thinks of the team and has made himself available because he knows that the team has problems at the back," Mourinho added. 

"He and Pepe are very good, while [Ricardo] Carvalho is working well."

Another bone of contention between the 49-year-old and the media has been the average performances produced by new signing Luka Modric in a Real shirt thus far. Mourinho has repeatedly called for the Croatian to be given time to adjust to the La Liga and reinforced the message as well as his faith in his strikeforce in Saturday's press conference. 

"I am happy with Modric's development whether or not he plays tomorrow. We signed him for his versatility, and whenever he has played he has performed well. I trust him more and more.

"Higuain and [Karim] Benzema are two good players, and the fact that they have more or less goals does not bother me, because they will get to the end of the season with more or less the same numbers as last season."

Real trail Barcelona by 11 points and the Catalan side registered a 5-0 victory over Madrid-based Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. 

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