Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United’s Europa League campaign could hurt their chances in the Premier League.
While the Portuguese boss insists he is targeting nothing less than a victory in the European competition, he also seemed somewhat annoyed by the fact that it would come at a cost.
Having enjoyed as much success as he has, it was also clear Mourinho wasn’t over the moon about being in the Europa League, and not in the Champions League.
The Red Devils play their first European game at Feyenoord on Thursday night, and Mourinho was quick to point out that it would make their title challenge more tricky.
“It is more difficult, yes,” said Mourinho.
“Especially because you have also the chance to play on the Monday, but we did not get that privilege, so when we play Thursday, we were never given a Monday spot, to have one more day.
“We know that we are not going to have any kind of support for that, in fact the week when we play Liverpool, Fenerbahce and Chelsea, the gift was to play Liverpool on the Monday, but the Monday before, not the Monday after.
“We play Liverpool on the Monday (October 17), then we play Fenerbahce on the Thursday (October 20) and then Chelsea on the Sunday (October 23).”
Mourinho was also typically frank when he summed up his side’s feeling about the competition.
“This is not a competition that Manchester United wants,” he said. “It’s not the competition I or the players want.
“But it is the competition where we are and that is the reality. We have to look to the competition with respect and we want to win the competition.
“It is difficult to do it, but it is simple to say, and this is how we want to approach the competition tomorrow.
“It is an important match for us and we must find the motivation that I found myself already.
“I have to try and pass that motivation to the players, because I know the Europa League is not the big dream of every player.
“But you are not in the Champions League, so you have to find your motivation in the competition you are in.”