Anthony Martial seeks showdown talks with Man United boss

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Jose Mourinho says the absence of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial from the Manchester United team is down to the strength of his first XI.

Such talk was given short shift by Mourinho. "A dry answer is that only 11 can start the match and we have 22 players in the squad", Mourinho concluded.

"The England squad's quite young, so there's just a massive bundle of excitement buzzing around", he said.

Other statistics explain why the young Mancunian has not appeared as much other players in his position at the club, as Rashford has scored 0.36 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League this term, while Lukaku has managed 0.50.

Martial has not played for the Red Devils in nearly a month, having struggled with injury for a period, and being left out of the side since his return - while Rashford's starts have dried up since Alexis Sanchez joined in January. That inevitably means some established stars will miss out on a place in the matchday squad of 18 but when asked if keeping everyone happy is one of the most hard parts of his job, he replied: "No, no". It would be incredible, also economically for the football clubs to have only 11 players and to always play with the same 11, with no injuries and no suspensions and no fatigue or nothing.

"Only 11 can start".

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"Rashford can play on the left and on the right, Alexis is exactly the same, all of them apart from Lukaku can also play from behind, they can also play as a second striker".

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The best answer Mourinho could deliver would be to go after west Brom like his side did in the second half against Manchester City in last weekend's 3-2 win.

"I wasn't aware of it before I saw it and it's something to be proud of", he said.

He told the club's monthly magazine: "I think it does".

"They still smell a chance... it's a big challenge because in football they know anything is possible until mathematically it is impossible", he said.

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