International

Mourinho: Europa League not what United want

2016-09-15 12:38
Jose Mourinho (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Jose Mourinho admits Manchester United are not desperate to win the Europa League ahead of their Group A opener at Feyenoord on Thursday night.

The Red Devils must endure another campaign without Champions League football after they failed to finish in the Premier League's top four last season under Mourinho's predecessor, Louis van Gaal.

United ended up in Europe's second-tier club competition at the start of this year after they fell out of the Champions League, and they suffered a massive upset in their first outing - losing 2-1 at Midtjylland in the round-of-32, first-leg.

They were eventually knocked out in the following round by arch-rivals Liverpool, and Mourinho has targeted a run beyond the group stages in 2016/17 but indicated the UEFA Cup is not a priority for the English giants.

"This is not a competition that Man United wants. It's not the big dream of every big player, but we are not in the Champions League," the Portuguese coach said in his pre-match press conference.

"We come to win the game. We want to win the competition. It's difficult to do, but it's simple to feel it and to say. This is the way we want to approach the competition.

"For a club of our dimension, to do well is not to be out in the group phase. Tomorrow is an important match for us."

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side are flying high in the Eredivisie after winning their opening five games of the new season, and Mourinho wants a response from his players at De Kuip after a disappointing 2-1 derby defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday, offering up a reminder of what happened against Midtjylland if they don't.

"If you see what happened last season, against Midtjylland, you don't forget that as a fan. Maybe as a player but not the fans. We have to make sure we are not sleeping," he added.

Read more on:    manchester united  |  jose mourinho  |  soccer
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