Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Mourinho: 'Surgery boom boom' has made this season hard

The will however earn a place in the competition should they defeat Ajax in the Europa League final on May 24.

Mourinho has openly abandoned United's hopes of securing the top-four finish in the Premier League that would open the door to the Champions League.

"These are examples of trying not to accumulate but people have to play, we don't have other players".

"We got to the cup final, with European experience (in the Europa League) and a decent league position, but we all want more than that".

"At the time, I looked at the reaction of my players first of all, and they were furious about it, so that puts a doubt in your mind as to whether it was the correct decision", Clement said.

Asked whether the Ajax match was now pivotal in determining this season as a success or failure, the Portuguese said: "I think by you, by you media, you have the right to say (that)".

"We are going to do this in this last week, these last three matches we are going to try not to accumulate too many minutes with any one of the players. It is not possible to do it every three days", he told reporters.

"We're approaching the end of a compelling season - our first with Jose Mourinho as manager and one which I believe we've made tremendous progress, both on and off the pitch", he said.

"Other clubs fighting for the top four would like to be in our position".

Mourinho's team will take on Dutch giants Ajax in the final, with the victor of that competition commencing straight into next season's Champions League.

This would just set Manchester United back £110m, before the wages are paid out. We had a fantastic record of 25 matches [unbeaten].

Mourinho says he has worked "harder than ever" during his maiden United campaign, which has already featured a League Cup triumph and victory over Leicester City in the Community Shield.

"We lost against Arsenal 2-0, we fought for the result, we lost 2-1 [against Tottenham] and fought for the result. It's massive for us and you can see how everyone's come on this year".

The Celta de Vigo striker had the chance to win the tie with the final kick of the second leg, but couldn't make a good connection to leave him and his teammates with their heads in their hands.

Peter Bosz's dazzling young Ajax team are likely to be awaiting the victors in the final, having beat Lyon 4-1 in the home leg of their semi-final.

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