Jose Mourinho: Thursday night football is draining for Manchester United players

by Tanveer Arayan

Jose Mourinho insists playing in the Europa League will prove to be draining for Manchester United players.

After finishing fifth in the Premier League last season under Louis van Gaal, Man United failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired three years ago, the club have struggled to find their feet, but they have started the new campaign strong.

Speaking about his preparations before the fixture, Mourinho claimed playing on a Thursday afternoon could have an impact on their performances in the Premier League.

“Yes, you are playing the next Sunday against a team — many times — that during that week was just training and waiting for you,” he said.

“Then you play Thursday night, you have a big chance of playing very far from England — because the group phase especially can give you a team from countries where the travelling is really long — and then a couple of days later you are playing a crucial match in the Premier League.

“Obviously the level of the teams is different because normally the Champions League has the best teams.

“But the reality is that in terms of thinking about the Premier League it is much more difficult, because I don’t think institutions are going to protect you, to give you a Monday fixture to rest 24 more hours.”

There’s an obvious reason behind Mourinho’s comments and the fact that we now play on Thursday nights would tighten the gap between European matches and League ties.

Considering travelling long distances across Europe, there is less time for players to rest and it could be a challenging task for Mourinho and his squad.

The Portuguese boss will understand he needs to rotate his squad and with a solid squad depth, we can expect to see plenty of players who have not featured in the Premier League so far.

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