Jose Mourinho has revealed how the Munich Air Disaster has always been part of his life, acknowledging that it has become even more important and poignant since he became Manchester United manager.
Mourinho admits it will be an emotional occasion for everyone connected to United, but he hopes the players can honour those who lost their lives in the most fitting way possible - with a victory.
“I think it should affect [the players] in a positive way,”he told MUTV.
“If we believe they are watching the match I think it's one more reason for a happy day and for a good performance and a manifestation of United colours. So yes, of course a minute of silence for them and for the families, but I think they would love happiness, joy, a Manchester United victory, points, goals... I think they would love that.
Mourinho: Munich is a part of my lifeVideo
“Even before I became Manchester United manager it was part of my life as a sportsman. Obviously I wasn't even born but I knew everything about it and the amazing reaction Manchester United had after that and to honour the people's memory always. So as Manchester United manager it obviously becomes more important and for me and for every player tomorrow is a special day.”
Mourinho added in his pre-match press conference:
“It's one of the biggest tragedies but also, at the same time, it's a crucial point in Manchester United's history - the reaction, the strength, the union after that situation.
Thornley: Munich is a huge part of our clubVideo
“I think tomorrow is an amazing day to show the respect, to show the passion for the club, the respect for them [the victims], the respect for their families and I think it's a day to play well. I think it's a day to bring happiness, to bring joy, for people to be together enjoying the game and at the same time showing all the respect for the people and their families.”