Manchester United will prioritise Europa League if they can "smell the final"

Manchester United will prioritise Europa League if they can "smell the final"

José Mourinho stated that Manchester United will prioritise the Europa League if they reach the quarter-finals.

Danial Kennedy

Manchester United manager José Mourinho has admitted that the Red Devils will prioritise the Europa League if they beat FC Rostov to reach the quarter-final stage.

Need to make choices

It looks like that it is going to be an excellent end to the season for United, having already secured one trophy in the EFL Cup and still being in contention for two other accolades.

However, where they have lacked in the campaign is in the league, especially in their home form. The Red Devils have had their worst home form since 1990, made worse with Saturday's 1-1 draw with AFC Bournemouth.

That draw has seen their chances of breaking into the top four become less realistic. United still have the chance of reaching the Champions League by winning the Europa League and Mourinho stated that he will focus on the competition if they make into the last eight.

"The Europa League is very difficult," Mourinho admitted to his pre-match press conference. "But it’s a target for us."

"If we beat Rostov and we find ourselves in the quarter-final," he stated to the press. "Then we have to think really seriously about the Europa League."

“[With] the last 16 we are still far [away from the final]," the coach conceded. "But when a team get into the last eight, and you go to the quarter-final draw, you smell the final."

"The quarter-final – you smell the final and then in a certain period of the season," Mourinho added. "I have to analyse my team, the players, the condition of everyone and I have to make choices."

Still pondering the side

It is expected to be another congested but crucial period for United, with the clash with Rostov on Thursday, Chelsea on Monday, Rostov the following Thursday and Middlesbrough on Sunday.

Wayne Rooney was left at home in England ahead of the trip to Russia, there have also been talks of a return for Henrikh Mkhitaryan but Mourinho admitted that he doesn't what team to play.

"I don’t know which team to play really," he conceded to reporters, "I don’t know which team I will play."

"I don’t know if Mkhitaryan is going to play," Mourinho concluded. "I have a lot to think because I was expecting something more playable."