José Mourinho has insisted that Manchester United's focus on winning Europa League was "common sense", with the manager stating that it was down to their "impossible" injury list and fixture build-up.
Not a gamble, but a simple decision
It has been a long journey in the Europe's secondary competition for the Red Devils, but they stand just 90 minutes from the Europa League final taking a 1-0 advantage into Thursday's clash with Celta Vigo at Old Trafford.
The last few months have been hectic for Mourinho's men as they fought on a number of fronts for trophies, but those pursuits for silverware had a big effect on Mourinho's team selection.
A number of key players such as Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimović have suffered season-ending injuries, while players such as Chris Smalling and Phil Jones picking up long-term injuries who are just making their return for availability.
Their run of games has also been hindrance with Thursday's game been their third in a week since the first-leg in Spain, Mourinho has stated for some time that winning Europa League would be the priority and he said that it was a calculated choice considering the factors against his men.
"The situation is simple - 17 matches in seven weeks with 16 players is impossible," Mourinho told his pre-match press conference. "It was not a gamble, it was a simple decision based on common sense."
"So it was not a gamble it was just a consequence of our situation," the manager stated to the gathered press. "So we are in this situation now and we have to fight for it so let's see if tomorrow we can do it and if we can go to the final."
"We are giving everything we can, the players, myself, everyone," the coach added. "We are giving everything so when you give everything, no problem."
Will be an important lesson
United are Britain's second most successful club in European competition just behind bitter rivals Liverpool, having won three European Cup's (1968, 1999, 2008) while appearing in two further finals (2009,2011).
However one of the only trophies to have graced the coveted walls of the United trophy room has been the Europa League. Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney are the only survivors from the 2008 triumph with Juan Mata winning two European trophies with Chelsea, and Mourinho stated that European final is vital for his side.
"A European final for the club would be very important," he said. "To fight for the only trophy that the club has never won before."
"And for this group of players we have just a little group with European success," the 54-year-old admitted. "It will be very important for the club, very important for the players."