Antonio Valencia will not play against Young Boys

19 September, 2018, 22:14 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Romelu Lukaku scores against Watford

He added: "I don't want to use the pitch, especially before the match, as a possible excuse for a not very good performance".

With a reference to Switzerland's greatest sportsman, 20-times Grand Slam victor Roger Federer, Mourinho urged his team to just get on with it.

"As an example, we're in Switzerland, home of one of the best ever tennis players, and I am pretty sure the big man [Federer] is not happy to play on such a surface, but he has to play and win. We'll have to do it".

Mourinho has been the subject of criticism for stunting Rashford's progress in the Manchester United team over the past few seasons.

Mourinho does not need to be reminded of the potential pitfalls of a visit to Switzerland, however.

Young Boys are, at this stage, something of an unknown prodigy, and unexperienced at this level: they will not like the sight of Shaw running at them full pelt.

Marcus Rashford's future has been a hot topic over the last few days, with Jose Mourinho defending his handling of the youngsters' development. Both losses came against FC Basel in 2011 and 2017.

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Mourinho has described the artificial pitch in Bern as a "huge advantage" for Young Boys.

The 20-year-old managed just one Manchester United start, playing a total of 122 Premier League minutes, before being England's match-winner twice during the worldwide break.

"I would focus on the first match, and after that on the group phase, one of the most hard group phases, and we have two positions to qualify and our focus must be on that".

Man Utd have had a mixed start to the new campaign as they recovered from consecutive defeats to Brighton and Tottenham by picking up vital away wins at Burnley and Watford in recent weeks so Mourinho will be hoping to build some momentum.

"Everybody knows it's different but what I had to say I told last week in Geneva in the UEFA meeting that we had and what can I say?"

"We have Lukaku, Rashford, Mata, Alexis, Martial - they all can not play together, so try to be a little bit happy for the ones that are playing and not be critical of the ones that are not".

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