Jose Mourinho has explained why he was forced into making eight major changes to his team to face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in the Premier League.
The Portuguese boss introduced a new side than the one that progressed to the Europa League final against Celta Vigo on Thursday, with Eric Bailly, Daley Blind and Jesse Lingard the only players to keep their place.
He has been resting key players in the Premier League as a top four finish is pretty much impossible to achieve following recent results and will be putting all focus on the Europa League as the side look to get back into the Champions League ahead of next season.
Speaking about his decision, Mourinho claims he will continue to make changes to the side until their final against Ajax in 10 days.
“The thinking is we have other good players, we have people that need and deserve to play and people that need and deserve to rest,” he said.
“We are going to do this in this last week, these last three matches we are going to try not to accumulate too many minutes with any one of the players.
“So we have lots of changes in relation to the last match and in the next match we will have a lot of changes in relation to this match.
“Mourinho rejected the argument that United could lose momentum by fielding weakened teams in their last Premier League games.
“To be honest I think in the Premier League lately the results are not the best – we lost at Arsenal ending that unbeatable run we drew at home to Swansea.
“So I don’t think it is about results I think it is more about the condition to arrive in Stockholm in the best possible conditions to compete against a team that today plays their last match and has 10 days without football just to prepare the match.
“I want to give the players the best conditions to try to go to the final.”
United had every chance of finishing in the top four but the results in the league let them down and now everything is on the Europa League final.
Hopes are the side can go and do a job in Stockholm, especially after key players have been rested so they can be in top condition for our most important game of the season.