Mourinho: Mid-season friendlies nonsensical

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has questioned the wisdom of organising mid-season international friendlies, after losing two of his players to injury last week.

England duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones returned to Old Trafford with knocks last week, having injured a leg and toe respectively during training with the national team.

With United facing a wall of fixtures in the final two months of the season, Mourinho was less than impressed that more obstacles have been added in his path.

The Portuguese coach sees no sense in meaningless matches between two countries, feeling they would be better served playing such fixtures before the major tournaments in the off-season.

"I am totally against the friendly matches," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "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."

Referring to Smalling and Jones, he added: "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."