It doesn’t matter what happens against Juventus, insists Mourinho
It doesn’t matter what happens against Juventus.. the last two matches will decide our Champions League fate, insists Man United boss Jose Mourinho
- Manchester United face Juventus in a Champions league clash on Wednesday
- Juventus need just a point to qualify after beating United two weeks ago
- United are battling with Valencia and Young Boys to qualify in second place
- ‘Wednesday is a big match but it’s not a crucial match for us,’ said Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho has played down the importance of Manchester United’s Champions League clash with Juventus in Turin, claiming that the remaining Group H fixtures against Valencia and Young Boys will be more important.
Mourinho accepts it will be difficult to beat a Juve team that outclassed United at Old Trafford a fortnight ago and only need a point to secure qualification for the knockout stage.
The Italian champions have yet to concede a goal in the competition this season and have lost just twice in 34 European games since moving to the Allianz Stadium.
Jose Mourinho has played down the importance of Manchester United’s clash with Juventus
Mourinho was speaking ahead of United’s tie with the Italian giants in Turin on Wednesday
However, Mourinho believes United need to focus on the battle for second place with their other two teams in the group as they look to avoid demotion to the Europa League or an exit from Europe altogether.
‘Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a big match but it’s not a crucial match for us,’ said the United boss. ‘I think, independent of the result, our next matches against Young Boys and Valencia are the matches that are going to define the qualification in the second position or to go to the Europa League.
‘So tomorrow is a match we want to win. We want to compete, it is not lost. We want to play, we have to play, and we want that very much. I think the best experiences for teams are against teams that are really the top and we have that opportunity tomorrow.
‘It doesn’t matter what happens here or in Valencia, there are two more matches to play and we can still qualify so I think we will fight for qualification until the last match. This is such a big match I don’t want to think about what next.’
Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial pose for a selfie on Manchester United’s flight to Turin
Mourinho warned his players that they cannot afford another slow start if they want to take anything from the game. ‘We work every day to try, but the reality is that normally we don’t start matches well,’ he added.
‘If we don’t start well and end well that’s fine, it’s even good fun for the fans but football is 90 minutes and especially when your opponent is strong, if you give 45 minutes advantage or even 20 or even 10 then you have a mountain to climb.
‘The good thing is lately apart from Juventus match we were strong enough to climb the mountain and to change results in second halves and last minutes. But because we are speaking about tomorrow’s match when you play against a super team. if you give advantage it is a very difficult to climb the mountain then.’
Mourinho refused to be drawn on talk of a European Super League or the FFP allegations against Manchester City. However, he confirmed that Romelu Lukaku remains a doubt for the Manchester derby at the Etihad on Sunday after he stayed at home when United flew to Italy on Tuesday.
United flew out to Italy on Tuesday ahead of a huge European night against the Italian giants
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