Jose Mourinho has expressed a level of anxiety over Manchester United’s congested fixture schedule this season.
Man United continue to fight on four different fronts at the end of January, with FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League games accompanying an endless stream of crucial Premier League games.
And the 53-year-old, speaking ahead of United’s visit to Hull City on Thursday night, noted that dealing with such a busy schedule wasn’t easy, noting that the run-in would be difficult.
“I don’t know how many of the competitions we can win,” he said. “It is going to be hard. If we go step by step it will be hard.
“If we beat Hull and play the final we don’t play versus Manchester City. The match against City I am sure they (TV bosses) would choose an amazing moment, that would be difficult for us, to make us play against them.
“The Europa League is non-stop. You have to play more games than the Champions League. If we progress it is going to be really difficult. Lets see what happens.
“We go match after match. Lose and you are out of the FA Cup, if you draw you go to another match at Wigan and we don’t need another match. It is going to be really difficult.”
“I have a board with all the matches and possible matches on my office wall and when I look at it the image is quite complicated.
“We know there are teams with a wonderful life, but a wonderful life we don’t want.
“They play on the weekend, they have two days off with everybody rested and enjoy it. Everybody comes back fresh. Then they have three, four five days to prepare. They are fresh with the ideas. They are clear with the tactical work.
“They have time to work on every detail. That is a big difference to be honest.”
United have played 33 games so far this season – the highest of any top six side apart from Manchester City (also on 33). Liverpool, on the other hand, have featured 29 times, with Chelsea only playing 26 times so far.
The increased physical demands placed on Mourinho’s men will be an extra thing to contend with as the business end of the season progresses, especially if United continue to progress in the FA Cup and Europa League this season.
But this is a natural aspect of the beautiful game at its most competitive, and Mourinho’s men, still developing as a collective, will want to compete on ever frontier this season.