Jose Mourinho has revealed why he fielded a strong team for Manchester United‘s clash with Fenerbahce.
The Portuguese boss is hoping to boost his sides chances of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Wayne Rooney was amongst the players starting at Old Trafford once again, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan was left out of the team after failing to build any match sharpness.
Speaking before the game, Mourinho insisted he had to respect his opponents.
“If you don’t respect the quality of teams like Feyenoord and Fenerbahce, you risk not qualifying,” he said.
“It’s not the most important competition but we don’t want to throw it away. We need to respect the opponents.”
The Europa League isn’t as important as the Premier League, which is why some players have been rested, but it does offer an opportunity for the club to qualify for the Champions League.
Mourinho has undoubtedly realised the importance of the competition and fielded a strong team with the intent of keeping the campaign on track after a 1-0 victory against FC Zorya Luhansk.
The side now head into a must-win clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, after a draw to Liverpool, Stoke City and back-to-back defeats to Watford and Manchester City.