International

Mourinho: Les Verts tie will be difficult

2016-12-13 10:34
Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho welcomed the news that his side has been paired with Saint-Etienne in the Europa League Last 32.

The Red Devils won four of their six Group A encounters, losing the other two, as they finished second to Fenerbahce, while Les Verts won Group C with three wins and three draws.

Mourinho admitted the match-up will be "difficult" for United, although he was pleased to be handed a fairly short trip to France, having avoided much lengthier journeys to Russia or Ukraine.

The tie also served up a sibling rivalry as Paul Pogba is set to go up against his older brother, Florentin, who has been at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard since 2012.

"The good thing is the travel distance. We travelled very far and to some difficult places in the group stage, to Turkey and Ukraine," Mourinho said after Monday's draw.

"But France is an easy flight, in an easy period with a lot of matches. St Etienne are also a historical club with lots of tradition, People of my generation will never forget the Michel Platini team, so it will be difficult.

"Manchester United is one of the big names in the competition and it will be hard for us, but we have two months without the Europa League and we can forget it for that time."

Commenting on the Pogba connection, he added: "It's a nice thing. Paul was already laughing and for sure his brother is also laughing. It's nice."

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