Manchester United could still achieve a “plastic treble” this season, as they have advanced deep in the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Europa League tournaments.
The next Europa tie sees the club travel to FC Rostov on March 9th for the first leg, and then host the second leg on March 16th. Sandwiched between the two matches is the epic FA Cup quarterfinal clash with Chelsea on March 13th. United Manager Jose Mourinho is furious about the scheduling.
Asked his thoughts about the Europa League draw today at his weekly Friday press briefing (video at this link), Mourinho responded:
“It’s a bad draw, in every aspect. It’s far and it’s difficult. They are a very difficult team.”
“They had a very good Champions League campaign. They beat Ajax and Anderlecht in the play-offs and in the group phase they had a very difficult group with Bayern and Atletico. They managed important results against them. They got third position leaving PSV out.”
“I know the manager well. I played against him when he was in Rubin and I was with Inter. It was very difficult. They were very defensive and very physical. So it’s a bad draw.
“But after Southampton and Bournemouth we will focus on it and we will go for it.”
Two days ago, Mourinho was asked if he was worried that the FA Cup scheduling ruins his side’s chances of progressing through the UEL, Mourinho ripped into the FA Cup schedule makers and said:
“Of course and I feel really surprised that the decision is made before our draw in Europe. Because in this moment nobody knows where we play, nobody knows where the first and second matches are,” Mourinho said.
“Imagine we play Chelsea on Monday and then we have to go to the second match in Europe in Russia, Turkey or Greece. I think once more the interests, they go in front of the clubs and English football’s interests, and nobody cares about it. But this is what I have.”
Mourinho went on to say that he will defend United’s FA Cup with pride, and not field a weak team.
He pointed out what Manuel Pellegrini did last season during the tournament as an example and then ripped into last year’s Manchester City boss for playing a very young team, which then lost 5-1 to Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Mourinho also strongly expressed his solidarity with the just sacked Claudio Ranieri.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times and Bold, contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication, CGTN America, WGN CLTV News and KOZN.
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