Charlie Nicholas believes that Jose Mourinho does not trust his defenders and this has left some of them in the dark. The Manchester United manager has used a flurry of combinations at the back, with the likes of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof all getting into the team at some point.

Both Jones and Bailly are ready for their Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur and are likely to be inducted into the starting line-up. Both players were missing from the starting eleven with injury and will come as a massive boost for Mourinho, who suffered his first loss of the campaign against newly promoted Huddersfield Town.

Bailly, 23, returned from October's international break carrying an unspecified knock which saw him miss games against Liverpool, Benfica, Huddersfield and Swansea City.

Jones meanwhile limped off with a quadriceps injury after just 23 minutes in Saturday's defeat to the Terriers but was fit enough to return the bench for Tuesday's Carabao Cup clash in south Wales.

With only Bailly ready to return, that means Mourinho remains without three midfield options in Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick. Marcos Rojo is closing in on his return from a cruciate knee ligament injury. However, Nicholas believes that Mourinho does not trust his players yet and that could come across as a bit confusing to the squad.

"I don't think he trusts his defenders," Nicholas told Sky Sports' The Debate Show, as quoted by the Express. "How many times have we had this discussion? Ever since Mourinho got there, he doesn't trust Smalling. I don't think he's convinced Jones is his man as he's not sure whether he's physically adaptable.

"He probably think he's a bit too rash. As we know, Lindelof has had an almighty struggle. Bailly has been the one - he's a bit raw. And then he brings in Young all of a sudden and you start to get confused. That's what Mourinho does and you are left scratching your head."

Phil Jones
Mourinho expects Jones to be fully recovered in time for the visit of Tottenham on Saturday. Getty