Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is ready to retain many of the players who drew with Stoke City, for the English Football League Cup semi-final second leg against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium. Wayne Rooney's record-breaking 250th goal for the club maintained their unbeaten record stretching back to October after they had 25 shots at the Britannia Stadium.
Mark Hughes' men looked set for victory after Juan Mata's own goal but a succession of missed chances eventually ended when Rooney curled home a free-kick in stoppage time, to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton as their leading marksman. The result mirrored the 1-1 stalemate with Liverpool which saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed a point with a header eight minutes from time.
But despite the two-game winless run, Mourinho is ready to keep faith with the same players who have taken two points from United's last two matches when they visit Hull – with a place in February's EFL Cup final on the line. Goals from Mata and Marouane Fellaini ensure United take a 2-0 lead to Humberside but Mourinho is not ready to take the second leg lightly.
"You create chances and sometimes we are playing so well and creating chances it is not easy to make changes," the United boss said, according to the Manchester Evening News. "It is easy to make changes when you see players not playing well, when you see a team not playing well. I change trying to give a different direction to the game.
"I do not change because this player is not playing well, or I need to change because he is giving us nothing – not at all. Sometimes I prefer to go home with defeat after a bad performance and we got what we deserve. Let's go home and tomorrow is another day. It is more difficult when you feel that things are alright and results are not related to the performances."
The Tigers have made a significant improvement since the appointment of Marco Silva. But their display at Premier League leaders Chelsea was overshadowed by injury to Ryan Mason, who suffered a fractured skull after a collision with Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge.
Mason has spent the last two nights in hospital but is in a stable condition. Tributes have poured in for the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder and they are expected to continue when United travel to Hull for their first game since the incident, on Thursday 26 January. Fans will be encouraged to participate in a minute's applause in the 25th minute – a reference to Mason's squad number – as a show of support for the 25-year-old, while his team-mates will warm up wearing Mason 25 T-shirts before kick-off.