Jose Mourinho set to return to dugout for crucial League Cup quarter-final

Manchester United manager now facing a second touchline ban in the space of a month

 Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho is sent off by referee Jonathan Moss at the weekend. Photograph: PA

Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho is sent off by referee Jonathan Moss at the weekend. Photograph: PA

 

Jose Mourinho is set return to the Old Trafford dugout as Manchester United look to reinvigorate their season by reaching the EFL Cup semi-finals on Wednesday night.

The United boss was sent to the stands during a frustrating draw with West Ham on Sunday and is now facing a second touchline ban in the space of a month.

But, with Mourinho having until Thursday to respond to a Football Association charge of improper conduct, he will be free to take his place in the technical area for a second home clash with the Hammers in four days.

His challenge will be to oversee a much-needed win after the result at the weekend condemned United to their worst league start since 1989-90, with just 20 points from 13 games.

Standing opposite him will be Hammers manager Slaven Bilic, who feels the Portugese may have been harshly treated by referee Jon Moss on Sunday.

Mourinho was dismissed after reacting angrily and kicking a water bottle after midfielder Paul Pogba was booked for diving following a challenge by Mark Noble.

Bilic said: “Why I have sympathy with him is that situation with Pogba looked from our angle, and he was close to me, that it didn’t look like a dive.

“It was obvious and it was a great decision from the referee, but from our point it did not look like a dive. The problem is that he hit that bottle like... it was a great volley to be fair. He should have miskicked it! He hit it too good.”

Bilic says there is certainly no ill will from him towards Mourinho following the outburst.

He said: “I like him and I have a good relationship with him, I like him and I don’t hide it. I am very proud to have a very good relationship with him.”

United dominated Sunday’s meeting, having 17 shots to the visitors’ six while Hammers goalkeeper Darren Randolph was a clear man of the match.

United midfielder Ander Herrera is taking nothing for granted but is convinced the Red Devils are overdue some luck.

The Spaniard said: “It’s very important, every game is. We want to turn the luck in the next game and the next game is League Cup.

“West Ham are a good side, it is not easy to stop them creating chances. They have (Manuel) Lanzini, they have (Diafra) Sakho, they have (Dimitri) Payet, they have (Michail) Antonio — they have very good players, but they just created two chances in the whole game.

“They didn’t get the ball for one minute because we were the dominant team so, hopefully, on Wednesday, we can create as many chances as we did (on Sunday) and (then) normally we should win.”

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