Jose Mourinho tells Diogo Dalot to wait for Premier League debut after impressing vs. Young Boys
MANCHESTER, England -- Jose Mourinho has told Diogo Dalot he will have to wait for his Premier League bow despite an impressive debut against Young Boys in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Dalot, 19, starred on his first senior start as United won 3-0 in Switzerland but club captain Antonio Valencia will return against Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday as Mourinho's men go in search of four straight wins for the first time since January.
"I want him in this process of adaptation to play totally fresh, so he's not playing [against Wolves], he plays Tuesday [against Derby in the Carabao Cup]," Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.
"To play for Manchester United is difficult enough for a kid of 19 years old, coming from another country and after an important injury and surgery. He doesn't need to face more difficulties.
"He has recovered totally and Tuesday he plays again but he showed for the ones that don't know him very, very well he is not a player to be here just on formation, he is a player to be here for positions. He's a very good player."
Mourinho will be without suspended Marcus Rashford and Nemanja Matic against Wolves, who have lost just one of their first five matches to sit ninth in the table.
Phil Jones is available again after missing three games with a hamstring problem but Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo are still absent.
"I would say Marcos Rojo is the one that is still not training with the team and Ander Herrera is not ready to play but is in the final phase of his recovery process," Mourinho said. "Jones is OK now so it's Rashford and Matic with suspension the ones that are not available."
United's run of form -- three wins from three away games -- has been built on an improved defensive record.
They have conceded just once since Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof were paired together at centre-back after the team shipped seven in their opening three games of the season.
Smalling and Lindelof are likely to keep their places against Wolves but Mourinho was keen to stress the good run is not just down to his centre-halves.
"I think the team is resolving the defensive problems better than before," Mourinho said. "I don't want to say [it] was [Eric] Bailly or Jones and is now Smalling or Lindelof. I think the team is more compact, more solid, the spirit, the cooperation, the empathy, the communication -- all of that improves in the team and good results bring confidence and I think we are improving as a team.
"I don't want to say our improvement has the name of Chris or Victor. The team is playing better and they are part of the team that plays these matches."