Mourinho says Europa League final is usually make-or-break

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Jose Mourinho celebrates Manchester United’s victory against Celta Vigo within the Europa League semi-final at Old Trafford on May 11, 2017 © AFP / PAUL ELLIS

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, May 12 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho accepts the club’s season will be judged a failure if they do not beat Ajax within the Europa League final on May 24.

Mourinho says he has worked “harder than ever” during his maiden United campaign, which has already featured a League Cup triumph in addition to victory over Leicester City within the Community Shield

however with United needing to beat Ajax to secure a place in next season’s Champions League, he knows he will not be spared by the media if his side succumb to defeat at Stockholm’s Friends Arena.

“I think you, the media, possess the right to say (which) in addition to I think which makes sense to say,” he told reporters after United completed a 2-1 aggregate win over Celta Vigo within the semi-finals on Thursday.

“however I don’t feel like which. I don’t want the players to feel like which. I don’t think the board feels like which. Because we work very hard. I probably worked which season harder than ever.

“In my personal analysis, I don’t think which way. however if I was on your side, in your chair, I think which is usually (fair).”

He added: “We won a League Cup. We won the Community Shield. Until the injuries arrived, we fought for the Premier League top four. We had a fantastic record of 25 matches (unbeaten).

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini celebrates a goal within the Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo at Old Trafford on May 11, 2017 © AFP / Miguel RIOPA

“We did things which nobody did in which club within the first season, like winning a trophy, like having the Manchester United record within the Premier League for unbeaten games, like reaching a European final. We had Great things.

“however if I was on your side in addition to you are always looking because of which kind of capital-letters big headlines, I accept if you say which.”

Mourinho said trying to restore United to former glories, after three largely disappointing seasons following the retirement of Alex Ferguson, had involved significant unseen work behind the scenes.

Asked what had made which such a tough season, he replied: “The players in addition to the club.

“Sometimes you get into big clubs in difficult moments in addition to the work is usually harder than when you get a smaller club in a moment of positive explosion.

“Very hard season. Some invisible work to your eyes. however when I analyse my work, I analyse which within the globality because better than anyone, I know what I did. I know what I had to do.

“however again, I accept which to your eyes are the football results which make which decision in addition to I’m ready for which.”

– Romero to start final –

United centre-back Eric Bailly was sent off during Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Celta in addition to Mourinho said the unlikelihood of lauching a successful appeal meant he was resigned to being without the Ivorian for the final.

One player guaranteed to start in Stockholm, if fit, is usually Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Romero has deputised for usual number one David de Gea within the Europa League, playing 11 games to the Spaniard’s three, in addition to Mourinho said there was “no dilemma” about who will start between the posts against Ajax.

“They are two fantastic goalkeepers. I never saw in all my career two goalkeepers to be such friends,” said Mourinho, whose sixth-place side visit Tottenham Hotspur within the Premier League on Sunday.

“Because which’s a position where you have always a little bit of rivalry, especially if you are both the same kind of level.

“We are speaking about Argentina’s national goalkeeper in addition to Spain’s national goalkeeper.

“They are so friends in addition to they support each different all the time. I never saw a bad face. I always saw them supporting each different.

“I think which’s fair which Sergio is usually going to play the final in addition to David accepts which, especially because he’s already played Europa League matches in addition to if we win the trophy, David wins the trophy.

“If everything goes normal in addition to we have no problems, Sergio plays the final.”

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Mourinho says Europa League final is usually make-or-break

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