Jose Mourinho says Antony Martial is fit ahead of the FA Cup final but claims Romelu Lukaku’s case will be decided much later.
Lukaku, who is the Reds’ top scorer with 27 goals this season, has missed the last three games after travelling to Belgium for treatment on the ankle injury sustained in last month’s victory over Arsenal.
Martial had suffered an injury in training before last weekend’s win over Watford and was seen driving out of Old Trafford before the last game of the season.
When asked by reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday for the latest on the condition of the attacking duo, Mourinho said; “Martial is fit and Lukaku we have to wait until the last moment.”
“I don’t want to lie to you and say he doesn’t play and then plays, so Lukaku we have to wait.”
Mourinho also said United’s season will not be defined by tomorrow’s result against Chelsea, irrespective of the outcome.
“People can do what they want,” said Mourinho. “The same applies to yourself.
“You can analyse the way you want to analyse and I can analyse the way I want, so everyone is free to go in the direction you want to go.
“Of course it makes a difference, but one thing is to make a difference and to consider it good or bad because of one match.
“When I analyse the work I did and the effort I put and everything we all did in the club – and that includes the most important persons in the club which are the players – I’m not going to analyse them because of one very important match.
“But I know the effort [that has been put in] and I’m not going to change my analysis of the season because of one match, not at all.”
“I think the winning mentality doesn’t have to do with records or history in finals,” said Mourinho.
“Honestly, I think what we did in the past has nothing to do with tomorrow and the records don’t play.
“What plays is tomorrow 11 against 11 and everybody trying to give their best.”
“I still don’t understand these words of ‘entertaining’,” said Mourinho. “You think 6-0 is entertaining? I don’t think so.
“I think entertaining is emotion until the end, is open result until the end, is everybody on their seats until the end, both dugouts nervous and tense with the unpredictability of the result, that for me as a football lover, that’s entertaining, so I think it’s going to be entertaining.”
The widow of former United and Chelsea midfielder Ray Wilkins, who died last month aged 61 will present the trophy to the winners at Wembley, with Mourinho claiming it was a fitting gesture following her husband’s sudden passing.
“I think, it will be a very emotional moment for Mrs Wilkins and for all the family, for the sons, it will be very emotional and I believe that Ray will be looking at it and will be himself enjoying it,” said Mourinho.
“I know how much he was loved at Chelsea, how much he was loved at Manchester United and I think it’s a coincidence that the two clubs are playing the final, but it will be a moment that will unite the stadium, the fans of both colours and I think a beautiful moment.”
FA Cup final
Chelsea v Manchester United
Saturday, 19 May 2018