Mourinho to field ‘strong’ Man Utd team in ‘difficult week’

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he will field a “strong” side as a “difficult week” continues with a Europa League match against Fenerbahce.

Thursday’s Group A fixture is United’s second of three matches in six days.

They drew 0-0 at Liverpool on Monday, and play Mourinho’s old team Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

“It’s a very difficult week for us. Monday, Thursday, Sunday; Liverpool, Fenerbahce, Chelsea. It’s a special week. We have to be ready,” he said.

The Portuguese would not be drawn on his line-up – or whether forward Wayne Rooney would start the 20:05 BST kick-off at Old Trafford.

The England captain, 30, has been a substitute for United’s past four matches.

“I don’t want to give you the team,” said Mourinho. “Sometimes I do, but this time, no.

“Wayne is working well, he is positive. We count on him – to start or to be on the bench.

“If we play with a team that is not good and strong, we won’t have a chance. We will play a really good team knowing two days later we have to play again.”

Mourinho did confirm attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is available after recovering from a thigh injury that has kept him out since mid-September.

Van Persie on his Old Trafford return

Thursday’s game will pit United against their former striker Robin van Persie.

The Dutchman, now 33, was signed from Arsenal in 2012 by Sir Alex Ferguson, but the Scot retired at the end of Van Persie’s first season.

The former Arsenal forward was sold to Fenerbahce by Louis van Gaal in 2015.

Asked if he thought he would still be at United had Ferguson stayed, Van Persie said: “When I signed that was the idea, that Sir Alex would stay on for a few more years.

“What happened, happened. I don’t think you have to make it bigger than it is. You shake hands and move on to the next chapter.”

Fenerbahce’s arrival in Manchester was delayed when the plane carrying the team was forced to make an emergency landing after it was hit by a bird.

 

Source: BBC

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