Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Manchester United will struggle to adapt to the Europa League.
Louis van Gaal‘s side crashed out of the Champions League following a 3-2 defeat against Wolfsburg on Tuesday, instead qualifying for the Europa League as they finished third in their group.
It means Man United will potentially have to travel huge distances to play on Thursdays before quickly flying back for Premier League affairs at the weekend. Pochettino insisted United will not find the competition easy.
“For sure Manchester United will feel very disappointed because they had the possibility to go into the next round,” Pochettino said.
“It is difficult to guess what will happen to them in the future. It is a different competition and you have to change your strategy – to play Thursday instead of Tuesday or Wednesday. It is true it can affect your game.
“I think it is a big, big difference. When you play Thursday and you play Sunday it affects the mentality.
“Always Thursday night, big travel, you need to play Sunday in the afternoon. Always for the players it affects the psychology because football is Saturday 3 ‘o clock, or it used to be.”
United’s small squad means van Gaal will not have many options if he wants to rotate his team for Europa League fixtures.
The hope is that the competition doesn’t impact United’s Premier League title challenge as the club have made it clear that van Gaal is expected to be up there come May.