Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho questioned Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw for missing the 3-1 win at Swansea.
Smalling has been out with a foot injury since 23 October, while Shaw played in the Europa League defeat by Fenerbahce on Thursday.
Before the game, Mourinho said: “Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100% with his pain. Shaw told me this morning that he was not able to play.”
Afterwards, he added: “For the team, you have to do anything.”
Central defender Smalling, 26, and left-back Shaw, 21, have both been left out of the England squad for the games against Scotland and Spain.
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Mourinho, serving a touchline ban, watched from the stand two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and one from Paul Pogba helped United end a four-game run without a Premier League win.
“There is a difference between the brave, who want to play at any cost, and the ones for whom a little pain can make a difference,” said the former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss.
“If I were to speak with the many great football people of this team, they will say they played many times without being 100%.
“We have players on the pitch with problems. In every sport, how many times do you play and you’re not 100%?
United were also without two more defenders in Antonio Valencia, who has had arm surgery, and Eric Bailly, absent with a knee injury.
With four defenders missing, winger Ashley Young played at full-back and Phil Jones, who had been out since January with a knee injury, returned.
Mourinho praised the pair, saying he needs such players if he his to change the mindset at Old Trafford.
“It is not just the players, but the people that surround the players,” said the Portuguese.
“Yes, it takes time, but with the help of people like Phil Jones, who was playing without having even trained, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney – with these people it will not be an impossible mission but a possible mission.”
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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37891986