MANCHESTER — Jose Mourinho is hoping his Manchester United team can survive their next two games before “attacking” the second half of the season.

Mourinho admits he is concerned mounting injury problems will make Monday’s trip to Everton and the FA Cup third round tie with Derby County on Friday difficult to negotiate.

He is set to be without Romelu Lukaku for both games while Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been ruled out for a month. Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick are already sidelined and Ashley Young will miss the next three games through suspension.

After Derby’s visit to Old Trafford on Jan. 5, United have 10 days to prepare for their Premier League clash with Stoke on Jan. 15. And Mourinho insists his team, which has slipped to third in the table after three consecutive draws, is in need of the break.

“We have lots of problems,” Mourinho said.

“We lost Lukaku, we lost Ibrahimovic for a month. To lose him for a month means he stops his run to the recovery. He has been running for many months. In the period where what he needs is to play and have minutes, we lose him for a month.

“We lose Lukaku, I don’t know for how long. I don’t remember the last time Fellaini played. [It] was a long time ago. I don’t remember. It was a long time ago.

“We have difficulty now to rotate players. Now we have to cope with Everton and Derby. After that we have an open space of 10 days before Stoke.

“Hopefully in this period we can rest, we can work, we can recover some players to attack the second part of the season.

“We finish the year in third position in the table. We have to fight to improve our position.”

United have won just two of their last seven games in all competitions, but Mourinho revealed the defeat to Bristol City in their Carabao Cup quarterfinal has turned into a blessing in disguise.

He added: “The fact that we don’t play [a] League Cup semifinal is a good thing for us. We have no players to play these two possible extra matches in January.”

Mourinho’s team will start the new year 15 points behind leaders Manchester City. And the Portuguese coach says they will need a change of luck to stand any chance of catching Pep Guardiola’s side in 2018.

He aid: “Three draws are different to three defeats. The difference is just three points but the difference in terms of the mental state of the defeat and the draw makes a difference.

“We need to improve the results not the performance. I feel unlucky, yes. You have to change which is what we try to do.

“When I speak about three penalties in matches where a penalty and a possible goal makes a huge difference, I want to say unlucky because it is what I feel. I could be here with a biased theory, which I am not going at all.

“I am happy with the refereeing performances in these matches and they were just unlucky decisions. You have to be biased against us to say that the penalty against City and Leicester and Southampton were not penalties. The boys are trying.”