Mour­inho warms up to Europa league

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — Jose Mour­inho has in­sisted win­ning the Europa League is a much greater achieve­ment than fin­ish­ing in the top four, four years af­ter in­sist­ing he did not “want my play­ers to feel the Europa League is our com­pe­ti­tion.”

Manch­ester United’s de­feat to Tot­ten­ham at White Hart Lane on Sun­day meant that they can now math­e­mat­i­cally not make the top four, leav­ing the Europa League as the only way they can qual­ify for the Cham­pi­ons League.

Against both Spurs and Arse­nal the week be­fore, Mour­inho has rested the ma­jor­ity of his first-choice stars to save them for their Europa League run – some­thing he in­sisted he would never do when months af­ter Rafael Ben­itez guided Chelsea to Europa League glory.

Speak­ing in 2013, Mour­inho, who had just suc­ceed Ben­itez as Blues boss, told the BBC: “I don’t want to win the Europa League. It would be a big dis­ap­point­ment for me.

“I don’t want my play­ers to feel the Europa League is our com­pe­ti­tion.”

How­ever, af­ter the de­feat to Tot­ten­ham on Sun­day, Mour­inho com­pletely con­tra­dicted these com­ments, in­sist­ing that the other clubs fin­ish­ing in the top four would pre­fer to be in Manch­ester United’s po­si­tion of chal­leng­ing for a tro­phy.

“I don’t know the way the other clubs think; I don’t know what is im­por­tant for them,” Mour­inho said. “At Manch­ester United, for us it’s more im­por­tant to win ti­tles than to fin­ish in the top four. “So if wee can win a third ti­tle, or as you like to say, a sec­ond ti­tle, if wee can do that it would be mag­nif­i­­cent.

“We knowow it’s a big ob­jec­tive, we know that if we lose the fi­nal we don’t n’t play Cham­pi­ons League, we e know that. But we fight for ti­tles and prob­a­bly other club­sbs fin­ish­ing in the top four, prob­a­bly­rob­a­bly they would like to be in our po­si­tion, to try and fight­ght for a ti­tle.”

JOSE Mour­inho was highly crit­i­cal of Chelsea's 2013 Europa League.

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