The Mature One: Mourinho says he is a changed man

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On the eve of their game with Middlesbrough, Mourinho has also had his say on the sacking of his friend Aitor Karanka who left on Thursday after three-and-a-half years as manager of the club who are winless in their last 10 Premier League games.

Mourinho said Pogba would be out for around three weeks, ruling him out of the trip to Middlesbrough and France's forthcoming games against Luxembourg and Spain.

And they will face Mourinho's men with the Portuguese having made seven changes to the team that edged past FC Rostov in the Europa League in midweek.

Having parted company with Aitor Karanka on Thursday, hopes were high at the Riverside that Boro could turn the corner against a tired United side who were playing their third game in just seven days.

The England winger took aim from 25 yards and found the top right-hand corner with an outstanding effort, deservedly adding to Marouane Fellaini's first-half header.

"It is important to underline that I spoke about it when you asked if the double yellow card (for Herrera) was right", Conte said in his press conference. He felt sufficiently confident to be convinced his charges were not to blame for the tunnel fracas.

Marcus Rashford used his pace to get in behind Bernardo Espinoza with just five minutes played - a regular feature across the course of the afternoon - only for former United stopper Victor Valdes to pull off a big save. "I didn't see anything, obviously something happened in the tunnel but it's no concern to me".

On the other hand, Middlesbrough seem to have settled for relegation as the season approaches its final stretch, as they now hold the 19th position with 22 points.

All the available indications though are that Gibson is minded to keep faith with a caretaker who "absolutely" wants the chance to lift Boro from their current 19th place to safety.

"But we still have two doors open to play Champions League football next season and that's the good thing". "We have got to start winning", said Agnew. It signs auger well for the Reds, but Mourinho's side must not only face down tired limbs on Teesside, but will have to do it without a clutch of injured and suspended players. He's so intelligent, so sharp.

"I just think that it needs a little bit of common sense. Goals will arrive, no problem at all".