Jose Mourinho has accused the football authorities of ‘not giving a s***’ about English teams in European competition.
The Manchester United boss vented his frustration after his team scraped through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Rostov.
The match came three days after they played with 10 men in an FA Cup loss to Chelsea and only 64 hours before a Premier League trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday.
United are the only team in the top six left in European competition, which Mourinho feels puts his side at more of a disadvantage than it should do.
He said: “We played 11 matches in the last six weeks. It is going to get worse and it’s going to get easier for the other five teams. Now it’s very difficult for us.
“I don’t understand that we don’t have any help in relation to European football. I’m saying this for many many years, even from my first spell in England.
“I don’t ask for me, I ask for everyone. I think they don’t give an ‘s’ about the English teams in Europe. They don’t care. There are other interests that are more important.
“Every (other) country they try to do that little support to the teams in European football. Why us, Sunday 12 o’clock? It is going to be even more difficult for us but we go until our limit, like Marcos Rojo.”
Rojo was shown on TV eating a banana during the second half to try to boost his energy levels while Paul Pogba limped off moments after half-time with a hamstring injury.
Mourinho now believes a point is the best his weary side can hope for at the Riverside on Sunday.
He said: “For some it was a funny situation, the banana story. I don’t think it’s a funny situation. When I watch marathons and people go to their limit, I don’t think it is funny, and I don’t think it’s funny some of my players in six weeks play 11 matches.
“Play on Monday with 10 men, enjoying five hours the M6 coming back to Manchester. People can ask why was (Phil) Jones playing on the left with so many difficulties. He was playing on the left because he could run and Marcos couldn’t run.
“We are living all these things and let’s see if Sunday we get a point. That would be great result.”
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane launched a scathing attack on Mourinho following his comments and questioned whether the Portuguese is up to the demands of the job.
Keane, who was speaking as a pundit on ITV, said: “I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life. Why do we have to listen to that garbage?
“It’s just utter nonsense what he’s talking about. He’s manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs on the planet. The squad he’s got, the players, and he keeps moaning about fixtures and fatigue.
“We were just looking at some of the cup draws they’ve had. They’ve had an easy ride in the cups, some good draws, a lot of home draws. The guy’s talking absolute nonsense. I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life.”
Mourinho, meanwhile, argued England should follow the example of the likes of Italy and Spain by tweaking the domestic schedule to give teams in Europe as much rest as possible.
He said: “We should be the last team to play in the weekend. It’s as simple as that. At least let us sleep a little bit on Sunday.
“It’s just a little bit of common sense, if they want, or if they are happy we have one English club in the Europa League and one English club in the Champions League. Aren’t we good enough to have more teams? I think we are.”