Friday 21 July 2017

Jose Mourinho issues a rallying cry to the Old Trafford faithful ahead of Europa League second leg

Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United and Wayne Rooney of Manchester United look on at half time during the UEFA Europa League semi final, first leg match between Celta Vigo and Manchester United at the Estadio Balaidos on May 4, 2017 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United and Wayne Rooney of Manchester United look on at half time during the UEFA Europa League semi final, first leg match between Celta Vigo and Manchester United at the Estadio Balaidos on May 4, 2017 in Vigo, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has issued a rallying cry to the Old Trafford faithful, after his side secured a well-deserved 1-0 first leg lead in their Europa League semi-final against Celta Vigo on Thursday.

Marcus Rashford’s brilliant 67th minute free-kick fired United into a dominant position in the tie, yet Mourinho was frustrated that his side failed to make the most of their superiority in Spain to open up a commanding lead heading into the second leg.

“I’m very pleased with the performance, not so pleased with the result,” declared Mourinho.

“At half-time, it should already be 2-0, but now the result is open. Next week, big match at Old Trafford. Let’s hope Old Trafford wants us to win because when they do…we win.

“Since the first minute, we tried to win the match, but the team was strong and compact. It was a good performance.”

They were words that were clearly designed to fire United fans into life as Mourinho’s side look to make a final step into the Europa League final, with an injury problem to match-winner Rashford one of the concerns coming out of the game.

The teenager limped off the field as he was substituted late on with what appeared to be a knee problem, but Mourinho appeared to be confident that the damage was not too severe as he lavished praise on his lead striker.

“He started the game already with a little problem and with the running he was feeling it,” he added.

“He is a 19-year-old kid in love with football. A kid that finishes the training session and stays half an hour more every day to practice free-kicks and waits for the opportunity.

“His mentality, he works, he works, he works. Let’s forget the age. What matters is not the age, it is the quality.”

Mourinho again confirmed that he intends to rest some of his first team players for the Premier League game at Arsenal on Sunday, as he believes winning the Europa League offers his team their most likely route into next season’s Champions League.

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