Jose Mourinho explains why he has to field a strong team against Feyenoord

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has outlined the importance of fielding a strong team against Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Defeats away at Feyenoord and Fenerbahce leave Manchester United outside the qualification spots in Group A with six points, just one point off the top.

Victory against Feyenoord would mean that a point away to Zorya Luhansk would be enough to guarantee a place in the knockout round for Mourinho’s men.

The 53-year-old, speaking at a press conference, revealed that he will field a strong team for this must-win game.

“The results are not good enough, especially compared with how the team is playing,” he said.

“We need four points to qualify – there is no space for a defeat.”

There are, as is invariably the case with group stage formats, several permutations at play here.

If Man United lose and Fenerbahce beat Zorya, Mourinho’s men will be out. If United draw and Fenerbahce win, on the other hand, they can still qualify but they’ll have beat Zorya and rely on results elsewhere on match-day six.

But permutations will not be prevalent in the minds of Mourinho and Co going into this game. The message is clear: go out there and dispatch the opposition. United’s away record in Europe is nothing short of catastrophic, but their home record is remarkably solid: they haven’t lost a European home game since February 2013, and United fans will hope to see Mourinho’s men replicate October’s heroics against Fenerbahce on Thursday night.

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