Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho reflects on "hardest season" in management

Doyle BarkerMay 15, 2017

Goals from Victory Wanyama and Harry Kane saw Tottenham earn a 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane on Sunday to end United's hopes of finishing in the top four this season.

They survived a late scare to draw 1-1 with Celta Vigo at Old Trafford last night to go through 2-1 on aggregate to a meeting with Ajax in the final in Stockholm.

United will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw and Tim Fosu-Mensah for the Europa League final through injury, while Eric Bailly is suspended following his moment of madness on Thursday.

And, when assessing United's chances in the Europa League final against Ajax, Mourinho was keen to offer his thanks to Oliver, who was the official at Stamford Bridge.

"I don't know the incident, I didn't see", Mourinho said.

What he has done is deliver the Community Shield, EFL Cup and has now booked United a place in their first European Final for six years.

But he believes executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and owners the Glazer family will still view the campaign as a success even if United fail to beat Ajax. "Of course I have in my mind already what I think is going to be the team but the players can influence decisions with positive or negative performances", Mourinho said about his team selection for the Europa League final. I don't want the players to feel like that. I have to give some minutes to everyone because we only have 15 players. Because we work very hard.

When asked what United need to do to compete next season, Mourinho added: "I don't want to think about it, I want to think about the final", before walking off camera. For the first time ever, Tottenham will play a second consecutive season in the Champions League, providing valuable income from UEFA as it completes the building work on a new 61,000-seat stadium. So we can finish fifth or sixth and we can win a trophy. We, Manchester United, for us it's more important to win titles than to finish top four.

"By winning that trophy we can play Champions League next season and that is the game".

"But if I was on your side and you are always looking for this kind of capital-letters big headlines, I accept if you say that".

Mourinho's 17-year managerial career has taken in seven clubs: Benfica, União Leiria, Porto, Chelsea (twice), Internazionale, Real Madrid, and now United. And, whatever happens in Stockholm.

"A very hard season".

The draw with Celta Vigo was United's 11th at home and had Manchester City's one-time forward, John Guidetti, not fluffed his shot at the climax, the little club from the wild coast of northern Spain would have gone through on the away goals rule. "And if he doesn't play the final, he has to play the remaining matches in the Premier League and give rest to some of the others".

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