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07th Jan 2018

How Coventry City earned Manchester United a week in Dubai

All thanks to Jack Grimmer

Darragh Murphy

Manchester United’s players have Jack Grimmer to thank for their upcoming week in Dubai.

United manager Jose Mourinho remained hopeful of taking his side away from freezing Manchester in order to enjoy some warm weather training but the trip depended on the outcome of a couple of FA Cup ties.

Firstly, the Red Devils had to avoid a draw in their FA Cup third round clash with Derby on Friday night and United also needed any result other than a draw when Coventry City hosted Stoke City on Saturday.

Late goals from Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku cleared United’s path into the fourth round while a Grimmer goal with 20 minutes remaining saw League Two side Coventry defeat the Potters at the Ricoh Arena in a game which ultimately cost Mark Hughes his job.

United don’t play next until Monday, January 15 when they host Stoke at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

Replays in the FA Cup would have denied them the chance to travel to the United Arab Emirates but, thankfully for Mourinho and his players, they’re now free to jet off on Monday afternoon.

“Do you want the truth?” Mourinho said. “If we have a replay we don’t go to Dubai and everybody wants to go, everybody wants to go.

“Did you see the players celebrating the second goal? Everyone wants to have a good week of good training, good facilities in the sun, but now we still depend on Stoke result.

“Because if Stoke gets a draw we don’t go to Dubai.

“When do we go? We go Monday but if they get a draw we don’t go.”