Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is very skilled at making excuses. He's also very skilled at winning football matches and motivating players, but it is in pre- and post-match interviews where he really excels.
The Portuguese always fills newspaper inches with complaints about pitches, referees, opposition players, tactics, and anything else you can think of. Often his claims are merited, his criticisms justified, but his latest excuse does not hold up to scrutiny.
However, in his argument, he feels that West Brom have a distinct advantage over United, because his side had 13 players go away to play for their countries.
"If you compare our situation with our opponents - West Bromwich Albion only had one player on international duty," Mourinho claimed to Sky Sports.
"They had time to work, time to rest and prepare. It is going to be hard."
In fact, West Brom had far more than one player on international duty - with 10 of their players featuring for their countries, just slightly less than United's 13 internationals.
Hal-Robson Kanu played against McClean for Wales in a 0-0 draw, James Morrison and Darren Fletcher helped Scotland defeat Slovenia, and Nacer Chadli was alongside United's Marouane Fellaini in midfield for Belgium.
Somehow when Mourinho was monitoring his players on international duty, he failed to notice that some of their team-mates and opponents were West Brom players in disguise.