Manchester United: Jose Mourinho says Europa League focus is not a gamble

Jose Mourinho
Manchester United's 25-match unbeaten run was ended by Arsenal on Sunday

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho does not believe it is a gamble to prioritise the Europa League over a top-four finish in the Premier League, saying it is "common sense".

United hold a 1-0 lead over Celta Vigo heading into Thursday's semi-final second leg at Old Trafford.

Mourinho says a busy fixture schedule made it necessary to prioritise.

"Seventeen matches in seven weeks is impossible. It's not a gamble, just a consequence of our situation," he said.

"It was a simple decision, based on common sense."

The Europa League champions are guaranteed Champions League football for next season, as are the top four finishers in the Premier League.

The Red Devils are currently fifth in the league, four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with three games remaining.

Mourinho made eight changes as United's 25-match unbeaten run in the league was ended by Arsenal on Sunday.

The Portuguese coach is confident the Europa League remains United's best chance of securing Champions League football and insists he will have "no regrets" if his side ultimately fail to win the competition.

"Let's see if we can do it," he added.

"It doesn't matter what happens. No regrets, we are giving everything we can, the players and myself."

'Man Utd belong in the Champions League'

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in 38 appearances this season

United striker Wayne Rooney backed his manager's decision.

"This club belongs in the Champions League," he said.

"Realistically, it's going to be difficult to do it through the league. We have to concentrate on winning the trophy."

Rooney continues to be linked with a big-money move to China, while Everton and the United States have been suggested as other potential destinations.

However, when asked if he wanted to stay at Old Trafford, the England forward said: "Would I like to stay? I've been at this club 13 years.

"Of course, I want to play football."

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