Jose Mourinho set to drop Manchester United stars after West Brom defeat
MANCHESTER -- Jose Mourinho has said some of his Manchester United stars are set to pay the price for the shock home defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
United were beaten 1-0 by the Premier League's bottom side to hand the title to rivals Manchester City.
Mourinho is ready to ring the changes for Wednesday's trip to Bournemouth and said there would be opportunities for fringe players to secure a spot in the starting XI for Saturday's FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.
"Rotating is not the right word," the United manager said. "If I play a player against Bournemouth and the player is phenomenal, he plays the semifinal.
"So it is not rotating, because rotating looks like a player that plays against Bournemouth is to give a rest to somebody that is going to play against Spurs in the semifinal.
"So the word is not rotation, it is an opportunity for some people to play and to try to get a place in the team for Spurs and some of the guys that played [against West Brom] don't have a place in that team."
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, all substitutes against West Brom, could be recalled at Bournemouth. Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw may also start.
The FA Cup represents United's last chance to end the season with a trophy, but Mourinho said he would only pick players in form when he chooses the team to play Spurs.
"What is the criteria for a manager to choose a team?" he said. "I only know one criteria, is the way they play. It is the only way I can select players.
"Or do you want me to go for the price they cost, or their salary, or their beautiful face? The only way is to go with performance."
Paul Pogba is one of those at risk of losing his place after being substituted before the hour against West Brom.
A first-half yellow card contributed to Mourinho's decision, but the France international had struggled to find the form that saw him score twice in the 3-2 victory at Manchester City.
"It was not just him," Mourinho said. "He had a yellow card so he was in a more difficult position than others.
"And playing with only two midfield players you cannot play with one player in risk of not being able to make a foul.
"You can do it if your team is not losing the ball, but our team was losing the ball so easily with the complication, everything was complicated, so we were losing lots of balls, so by losing lots of balls, with turnings and flicks and tricks, the midfield players and central defenders are at risk of one touch, one late challenge and they are out.
"So Paul was out because of the yellow card, because of in terms the way he played he was not worse than some of the others who were on the pitch for 90 minutes."
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.