Cape Town - Jose Mourinho has explained why Juan Mata was left out in the recent win over West Bromwich Albion, despite his excellent form in the Premier League this season.
The Manchester United manager opted for Jesse Lingard in favour of the diminutive playmaker for the right-wing role against the Baggies and while it paid off - he revealed after the 3-1 victory what his thinking behind the tactical switch was.
"[Lingard] a different player than Juan [Mata]," Mourinho told MUTV. "Both very good players obviously but different players.
"Against Palace we thought it was more important to have Juan's quality to hold the ball up to keep playing inside positions.
"Today we thought it was important to have one of the three attacking players to be more of a runner and we did that with Jesse and later with Marcus."
The Red Devils are currently in sixth position in the league, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea after 16 fixtures.