Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United could focus on the Europa League rather than the Premier League if they fall behind of a top four finish.
Man United are currently in fifth place, five points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand and the task at hand has gotten harder following their eighth draw in 15 Premier League home games.
They’ve settled for draws against Bournemouth and West Brom in their last three league games and must face Everton, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking about the situation, Mourinho claims his aims could be forced to shift from the Premier League.
“I just want to think that against Everton we are going to do what we tried to do [against West Brom], to try to play with our best team and try to win the match, and after Everton we go to Sunderland with the same perspective,” he said. “And then after Sunderland, the Europa League comes and I don’t know.
“Then, it’s possible that you see me play in the Premier League with a team where I’m going to protect the players that I consider fundamental for the Europa League — but only, only if the results in the next matches put us in a situation where, mathematically, it becomes almost impossible to do it.
“I go with mathematics. Until it’s impossible mathematically, we keep trying. Because this week is a week without the Europa League, we have nothing to think about with the Europa League. This week is easy. From the focus point of view, it’s easy. We have to play Everton, we have to play Sunderland, and in these two matches we have to go for them thinking about the Premier League and nothing else.
“After that match against Sunderland, then we have Anderlecht and the quarterfinals of the Europa League are very important for us.”
He previously claimed he could prioritise the Europa League earlier in the campaign and following the draw over West Brom, it seems more likely as the side drop more valuable points.
Mourinho will still not give up on the Premier League as a top four finish is still possible but the next few games will be the deciding factor.