Tuesday 26 September 2017

'I hope you don’t kill me' - Mourinho insists Man United's final Premier League fixture game should have been moved

United manager confirms keeper Joel Pereira will start against Crystal Palace on Sunday

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes his side's final Premier League game should be played on Saturday ahead of next week's Europa League final
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has hit out at Premier League officials for refusing to consider to move his side’s final game of the season against Crystal Palace from its scheduled Sunday slot.

All matches in the final round of the league season will be played at 3pm on Sunday, with Mourinho fuming that his side’s Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm next Wednesday is not considered to be a reason to move the fixture forward to Saturday.

With Mourinho again suggesting he will name an unfamiliar United starting line-up for the final game of the campaign at Old Trafford, he offered up his feistiest comments yet on a subject that has long been a gripe for him during his time working in English football.

“I hope you don’t kill me when you see my team,” he said after United’s 0-0 draw at Southampton, as he looked forward to the game against Palace.

“In any country in the world the match would be Saturday, because Sunday we are sixth, doesn’t matter what, and Crystal Palace are safe

So after the moment Palace beat Hull and Hull are relegated, and Swansea is safe, in that moment the match has to be Saturday, in any country in the world it would be Saturday….it’s going to be Sunday.

“It’s frustrating for me. I don’t lose time (requesting a switch I don’t believe they would grant). When I know the battle is lost I don’t fight.

“The next match Joel (Pereira, United’s 20-year-old third choice goalkeeper) is playing his first match in the Premier League.

“I’m here (in English football) already seven years; I never saw any detail of trying to care about the English teams involved in European competitions. I never saw. It’s just a lost battle; we have to accept the way it is.

“I hope the fans on Sunday support the team, they forgive some naivety, they forgive some lack of confidence."

He then added with a smile: "I hope Big Sam (Allardyce, Palace’s manager) shows he’s a good friend and he goes slow. Tells (Wilfried) Zaha to go slow, leaves (Christian) Benteke at home; I hope he goes soft on us.”

Mourinho also offered further comments on the future of keeper David De Gea, after he confirmed Sergio Romero is in line to start the Europa League final next week.

The decision to promote Romero to first choice keeper has been viewed as evidence that De Gea will move to Real Madrid this summer, but he distanced himself from that stance.

“I don’t go with (Romero can replace De Gea) ‘if he leaves’ because I hope he doesn’t,” concluded Mourinho.

“We need two top goalkeepers and a top young goalkeeper and this is what we have.

"David is David and Sergio is Sergio. Spain’s national team goalkeeper; Argentina’s national team goalkeeper; it’s amazing to have it. I’m really happy with both of them.”

Mourinho confirmed he will call upon youngsters Demetri Mitchell, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Matty Willock, Josh Harrop and Zachary Dearnley for the Palace game on Sunday.

Paul Pogba will also have a role to play as he needs match practice ahead of the Europa League final after being absent in recent days following the death of his father.

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