International

Mourinho: Rostov clash will be a very difficult game

2017-03-09 15:00
Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes FC Rostov will provide his side with a tough challenge in the Europa League last-16.

The Red Devils will be in Russia on Thursday night to take on Selmashi in the first leg of their knockout tie, and Mourinho expects a stern test.

The Portuguese coach admitted that he is unsure how the game will play out and that he may have to adapt his tactics to get the better of Ivan Daniliants' men.

'This is a very difficult game. But this is the first leg and we have the second leg to play at home," he told MUTV. 'I am not sure what the game can be, I am not sure we can play the football we are used to playing; maybe we have to try to adapt to a different game-plan.

'They (Rostov) defend with eight players, with a line of five, and three midfield players. They counter-attack with two, plus the projection of some players, but they are very solid from a defensive point of view. They have quality and speed in attack.

'I think Rostov has four attacking players, especially three of them are very dangerous. So I don't know who is going to play; maybe he plays [Dimitriy] Poloz, maybe he plays the big strong boy who played against me [as Inter boss] when he was at Rubin Kazan [Aleksandr Bukharov].

'I know they are dangerous, I know they defend with everybody in front of their goal, and then they are very dangerous on the counter-attack, and all their attacking players are good players.'

Meanwhile Mourinho slammed the state of the Rostov pitch on Wednesday ahead of the tie, questioning whether the game should go ahead.

Uefa in a statement said that although the pitch was not in the best condition, the game should go ahead as scheduled.

Kick off is at 20:00.

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