Jose Mourinho has blasted the Premier League for failing to move Manchester United’s clash with Crystal Palace to Saturday to give them more time to prepare for the Europa League final.
Mourinho has revealed plans to field a weakened team on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace, three days before the showpiece that could earn him a second major trophy with United and secure qualification for the Champions League.
In Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Southampton he again selected an understrength XI, omitting Marcus Rashford, Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and David de Gea.
United will finish sixth regardless of the outcome of their match with Palace, who are also safe from relegation with three teams already down, and because of its insignificance is disappointed English football authorities have not intervened.
“In any country in the world the match would be Saturday, because Sunday we are sixth, doesn’t matter what, and Crystal Palace are safe,” said the Portuguese, 54.
“So after the moment Palace beat Hull and Hull are relegated, and Swansea is safe, in that moment the match has to be Saturday, in any country in the world it would be Saturday. (But) it’s going to be Sunday.
“It’s frustrating for me. I hope you don’t kill me when you see my team. I don’t lose time. When I know the battle is lost I don’t fight.
“The next match Joel (Pereira, United’s 20-year-old third-choice goalkeeper) is playing his first match in the Premier League.
“I’m here (in English football) already seven years, I never saw any detail of trying to care about the English teams involved in European competitions. I never saw. It’s just a lost battle, we have to accept the way it is.
“I hope the fans on Sunday support the team, they forgive some naivety, they forgive some lack of confidence and I hope Big Sam (Allardyce, Palace’s manager) shows he’s a good friend and he goes slow. Tells (Wilfried) Zaha to go slow, leaves (Christian) Benteke at home. I hope he goes soft on us.”