Saturday 17 November 2018

Jose Mourinho wants Manchester United to take inspiration from Roger Federer after Young Boys pitch fears

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Mark Critchley

Jose Mourinho says Manchester United plan to take inspiration from tennis great Roger Federer for their Champions League trip to Young Boys.

United travelled to Federer’s native Switzerland on Tuesday for their opening Group H clash, which will be played on an artificial pitch at Bern’s Stade de Suisse.

Mourinho described the surface as “a big disadvantage” when the draw was made earlier this month and would prefer the game to be played on grass.

Antonio Valencia, United’s club captain, was left at home by Mourinho due to fears that the surface could aggravate a knee injury.

The United manager is ready to persevere though, and hopes for his team take a leaf out of Federer’s book.

“I don’t want to use that as a possible excuse for a not very good performance,” he said on the pitch.

“Everybody knows its different. What I had to say I told last week in Geneva in a Uefa meeting we had.

“What can I say? I can get as an example we are in Switzerland, the home of one of the best ever tennis players.

“I am pretty sure that the big man sometimes is not happy to play on such a surface but  he has to play, he has to win.

“Everyone knows he has a favourite surface but he has also to win on the surfaces he is not in love with. We have to do it.

“Valencia is the only one whose situation we need to protect. We go with everything we had and we have to try to win.”

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