Wednesday 28 June 2017

'It's bad in every aspect' - Jose Mourinho reacts to drawing FC Rostov in Europa League

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jose Mourinho has described Manchester United's Europa League pairing with FC Rostov as "a bad draw in every aspect".

United will face the Russian side in the last 16 of the competition, travelling to Rostov for the first leg on Thursday, March 9.

The return match will take place at Old Trafford the following Thursday, 72 hours after United play an FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday, March 13.

United boss Mourinho had already complained about the scheduling of that domestic cup tie for TV purposes, and the travelling now involved in the Europa League has compounded his frustration.

Speaking at a press conference, Mourinho said: "It is a bad draw in every aspect. It is far and it is difficult. It is far and comes in a bad period for us.

"It is difficult because they are a very difficult team. They had a very good Champions League campaign, they beat Ajax and Anderlecht in the play-offs.

"And then in the group phase they obviously had a very difficult group with Bayern (Munich) and Atletico (Madrid) and they managed important results against them. They beat Bayern, they drew with Atletico. They got the third position, leaving PSV (Eindhoven) out.

"I know the manager (Ivan Daniliants) well, I played against him when he was at Rubin Kazan and I was at Inter.

"The team is really difficult - very defensive, very physical. So, a bad draw but, after Southampton and Bournemouth, we focus on it and we go for it."

Rostov, who are based approximately 1,000km south of Moscow, finished second in the Russian Premier League last season and beat Sparta Prague in the last 32.

They have welcomed the tie in a season which has already seen them face some of Europe's biggest clubs in the Champions League.

Assistant manager Dmitri Kirichenko told the club's website, www.fc-rostov.ru: "Probably Manchester United are the most powerful rival we could get. Wow, in one season our fans will see many super clubs."

Elsewhere in the draw Tottenham's conquerors Gent were drawn against Genk in an all-Belgian tie.

There was also an all-German match-up as Schalke were paired with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Roma, one of the competition favourites, will face Lyon while Celta Vigo were drawn against Krasnodar.

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