Jose Mourinho doesn't want to play Premier League matches ahead of Europa League final
By Stephen Mills
Last Updated: 15/05/17 2:59pm
Jose Mourinho says Manchester United do not want to play in Premier League matches as they prepare for the Europa League final later this month.
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.
That means their only hope of Champions League qualification rests with beating Ajax in Stockholm on May 24 - and Mourinho has rotated players in Premier League matches in recent weeks as he has plotted his way through the Europa League.
And he denied accusations that he has gambled by focusing on Europe, rather than domestic competition.
"When people say that we gamble by going for the Europa League, well we didn't gamble," he told Sky Sports.
"Nobody can play two big competitions with 15 players and this is what we have at the time. We didn't gamble.
"It was compulsory; what we did was compulsory. Options.
"I am happy with the situation today. They played 90 minutes the ones that need to play and I rested a few people.
"There were no injuries and one less match to play because in this moment the Premier League for us is just matches we didn't want to play."
Mourinho made eight changes from the team which played Celta Vigo in midweek with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ander Herrera emerging from the bench in the second half.
But he insisted he was happy with his players, despite the defeat.
"I am fine with what we had in terms of individual performances," he added.
"The two goals are two very bad goals conceded but the team is not used to playing together. Players were in different positions, there was no concentration and no focus.
"That's fine for me."
However, when Mourinho was asked what Manchester United needed next season to mount a challenge for the Premier League title, he refused to answer and walked out of the interview.