English Premiership

Mourinho bemoans 'poisoned' schedule

2016-09-30 07:00
Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

Manchester - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho rued the "poisoned gift" of his side's fixture schedule as he contemplated a potentially seismic run of matches in October.

United got their Europa League campaign off the ground with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday and host Group A leaders Fenerbahce in their next game on October 20.

Prior to that, they face a Monday night match at arch rivals Liverpool, with a trip to Chelsea, in the Premier League, and a crunch game against Manchester City in the League Cup to follow.

"We could play Liverpool on the Saturday or the Sunday. We play Liverpool on the Monday," said Mourinho, whose side are level on points in Group A with Feyenoord.

"So maybe we don't have the best conditions, especially because we play against two top Premier League teams that don't play in European competition (Liverpool and Chelsea).

"We have this kind of poisoned gift of playing on the Monday that creates a very difficult situation. But we want to try to qualify for the next round. We want to try.

"Long time to go, almost a month. But we want to try so we play against Fenerbache with a team with possibilities to beat Fenerbahce."

United struggled to break down a well drilled Zorya team, who were playing their first game against English opposition after finishing fourth in the Ukrainian Premier League last season.

Mourinho conceded that United's win had been "hard work" and while he praised Zorya's defensive organisation, he bemoaned what he saw as their delaying tactics.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home a 69th-minute winner after substitute Wayne Rooney's mishit volley, which struck his knee, hit the ground and looped towards the back post.

"He was laughing and saying that he made a great assist," Mourinho said of Rooney, who started on the bench for the second game running after overcoming a back problem.

Ibrahimovic has now scored six goals in 10 appearances for United since his close-season switch from Paris Saint-Germain.

"If you want to go through, you need to win the game. We did that," said the Swedish striker.

"We could have done much more though and I expect much more from the team. We did not score as we did against Leicester, but it is good for confidence.

"If we continue this and step it up, we will do good."

United had strolled to a 4-1 win over league champions Leicester City last weekend, having lost their three previous matches.

They entertain Stoke City, the Premier League's second-bottom side, on Sunday and Mourinho warned against reading too much into the league position of Mark Hughes's team.

"Let us concentrate on Stoke because Stoke is another poisoned gift," he said.

"Because Stoke is not what the table sees. The manager is very good, the players are good, the team is good.

"So when I look to the table, that's not Stoke's position. I play against a good Stoke and not the Stoke that is in that position in the table."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 22 September 2018
Fulham v Watford, Craven Cottage 13:30
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 16:00
Cardiff City v Manchester City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Huddersfield Town, King Power Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Tottenham Hotspur, The American Express Community Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 23 September 2018
West Ham United v Chelsea, London Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 29 September 2018
West Ham United v Manchester United, London Stadium 13:30
Arsenal v Watford, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Fulham, Goodison Park 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Liverpool, Stamford Bridge 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2018/19 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.