MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 15 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insists that his club would rather win the Europa League than finish in the Premier League’s top four.
The Red Devils lost 2-1 against Tottenham on Sunday, in Spurs’ last game at White Hart Lane, leaving them down in sixth position and unable to catch up to the top four sides with two games left.
However, with the Europa League final coming up against Ajax, Mourinho says that United have prioritised winning titles instead of fighting for the top four, with the prize for the winner, a Champions League spot.
“I’m not upset, because we had to make that decision. When people say ‘we gambled,’ we didn’t gamble, we didn’t choose Europa League. We had to do it.”
“Because if I have [injured players] Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, Tim Fosu-Mensah, if I have these guys [available], I can rotate, I can go for every match,” Mourinho told a postmatch news conference.
“When I have 14, 15 players I can’t do it. It’s as simple as that. It’s not possible to do it every three days with Europa League that is the competition with two more matches, with two matches in hand that we had to play later, it’s impossible.”
“We never had one occasion to rest, not even to train properly. So it was not a choice. We were pushed for that situation.”
He added: “I don’t know other clubs, I don’t know the way they think, I don’t know what is important for them. We, Manchester United, for us it’s more important to win titles than to finish top four.”
“So if we can win a third title, or as you like to say, a second title, if we can do that it would be magnificent for us.
“Because we don’t fight, we know it’s a big objective, we know that if we lose the final we don’t play Champions League, we know that.”
“But we fight for titles and probably other clubs finishing in the top four, probably they would like to be in our position, to try to fight for a title.”