Exclusive: Mourinho's pre-match interview
Before addressing the media in his press conference on Tuesday, Jose Mourinho spoke exclusively to MUTV, ahead of United's Champions League clash with Young Boys at Old Trafford. Here's what the manager had to say...
Jose, what’s the latest injury news?
“Marcos Rojo is injured and [Victor] Lindelof obviously injured. Matteo [Darmian] has a little thing but everyone is ready.”
Victor showed great heart to carry on at the end of Saturday’s game despite struggling to walk – are you looking for that kind of heart from everyone?
“Yes of course. We had no more changes [left to make], the result was totally open, with a few minutes to go and he gave everything that was possible. Then of course it was impossible to play as a central defender to cover metres at a high intensity against a team that was playing counter-attack football. So he had to go in front of the defensive line, but to be there and stay there until the end was fantastic.”
It was obviously a frustrating result against Palace but do you have to put that to the back of your mind now?
“I don’t know another way. If you moan and stay in the dark because of a frustrating result then you are not able to compete in the next match. The fact that we play Saturday then Tuesday isn’t good from the recovery point of view, but we had to train Sunday and today and we play tomorrow so everything goes really fast and you don’t really have time to be thinking about what we could have done against Crystal Palace because it’s over. It’s about the next game and the next one. In practical terms even if we don’t win tomorrow we have the last match to try to qualify, but I think we have to play the match tomorrow like it is the last one. I think it’s the way we have to think, all of us… myself, the players and also the stadium. It’s a bit of fiction but we have to think that this is the last opportunity we have and you have to win the match to qualify. That’s the way to approach it.”
All eyes on training Gallery
See which players have been photographed before the Young Boys match.
It’s great to have our Champions League destiny in our own hands isn’t it?
“Yes. We only took one point from two matches at home but we managed to take six from a maximum of six away from home, and the victory in Turin has put us in a position where we have everything in our hands. In this moment we can be first, second or third. Obviously we don’t want to be third and go into the Europa League so there is a lot to play for in these couple of matches. We depend on the Juventus/Valencia result to have or not a decision tomorrow [on qualification] but mentally we need our three points and then we go to 10 [points] and we also need to look at the pride perspective and the fans’ perspective. Two matches at home which were very difficult – Valencia and Juventus and I cannot say we played bad matches in both, but in both we couldn’t win or score. We have another difficult match tomorrow, Young Boys are a much a better team than people think. If you analyse their matches against Valencia and Juventus away they were not easy matches for the home team – 3-0 and 3-1 [defeats], but especially in Valencia the game was so close. So we can imagine that this game will not be easy.”
They’ve only lost one game all season in their domestic league which goes to show they’re a good team…
“Yes but domestically there is no story [no competition]. I played a few times against Basel and Basel at the time were in a similar situation to Young Boys now, they are super-dominant. It’s not just dominant… they have won the title already and we haven’t reached December. They’re a very good team and obviously the best team in their country and with conditions to compete the way they are doing because even though they have only one point, but the results are results where you can say they were there [fighting].”
Can the result in Turin inspire the players to achieve even more in the competition this season?
“If you look to the top candidates [in the Champions League] then probably one of the three teams that come to your mind are Juventus and we have played both matches against them – we lost 1-0 and won 2-1. They were very difficult matches and close matches, but we were able to compete against them, even in the match that we lost. So I think it’s a good point and the first objective in the Champions League is to qualify [for the last 16]. Our group is one of the difficult ones, a very good team has to go to the Europa League, we have six points to fight for to make sure we are not that team.”
MUTV will have the best build-up to Tuesday's game against Young Boys, including interviews with the manager and players, plus team news and analysis, from 18:30 GMT. Kick-off at Old Trafford is 20:00 GMT.
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