EPL schedule harming Europa League chances: Mourinho
Manchester: Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho has blamed the English Premier League (EPL) schedule for hindering the club’s preparations for next Wednesdays Europa League final against Ajax Amsterdam.
Mourinho-coached United is set to play the last match of this season’s EPL campaign at home with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The coach said that the match against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford should be played on Saturday, instead of Sunday because it will hardly make any difference.
“In any country in the world the match would be Saturday because we are sixth no matter what and Crystal Palace are safe, Mourinho was quoted as saying by the Independent on Wednesday.
“After the moment Palace beat Hull and Hull were relegated and Swansea are safe, the match should have been moved,” he added.
When questioned that if he had appealed directly to the EPL to reschedule the match for Saturday Mourinho said: “When I know a battle is lost I don’t fight a battle. I have been here seven years and I never saw any detail trying to care about the English teams involved in European competitions.
“I never saw that with Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City last year. It is a lost cause. We have to accept the way it is,” he added.
After his side played a dull goalless draw on Wednesday night against Southampton, Mourinho also asked the coach of Crystal Palace Sam Allardyce to go easy in the match.
“I hope Big Sam shows he is a good friend and he asks Wilfried Zaha to go slow and leaves Chrsitian Benteke at home and they go soft on us,” Mourinho said.
Mourinho also revealed the strategy for the upcoming home game.
“I will bring in (Demitri) Mitchell, (Scott) McTominay, of course Axel (Tuanzebe), of course Eric Bailly, (Matty) Willock will come too, Josh Harrop will come, Zachary (Dearnley) will come,” the 54-year-old said.
“I will put two or three of my boys rotating during the game. I need to give four or five of my boys a run to give some stability to the kids,” he added.