José Mourinho has rallied his Manchester United players ahead of their Europa League final with Ajax, reportedly telling them in an empassioned talk to 'do it for the city, do it for the kids'. This comes in light of Monday's terrorist attack in the city which killed 22 people and injured numerous others.
Manchester will pull together as one
Manchester was gearing up once again for one of their clubs to fight for another piece of silverware on European soil, with the final proving crucial to United in their aspiration to play Champions League football next season.
However all that preparation, competitiveness and happiness was washed away on Monday night, when a suicide bomber killed 22 people at the city's MEN Arena after the conclusion of a Ariana Grande concert.
The city has come together in the coming days and that has been no different than with the club, with the players holding a minute silence ahead of training on Tuesday morning and the club cancelling his pre-match press conference in respect to the families.
Tonight's final was quickly confirmed to go ahead but seems to have lost its competitiveness and replaced by determination to honour the city and those who were lost. Mourinho privately stated to his players that they need to 'do it for the city, do it for the kids' and in his statement said that the city will come together, united.
“We’re all very sad about the tragic events,” Mourinho said. “We can’t take out of our minds and hearts the victims and their families."
"I know, even during my short time here," he stated. "That the people of Manchester will pull together as one."
We are going to give everything
Though it is difficult, the focus has now turned to the clash at the Friends Arena and the Red Devils do face a tough test in an Ajax side that many will have as slight favourites, given United's recent form and the exciting young players that the Dutch club have in their ranks.
Mourinho is known for bringing his A-game in finals throughout his managerial career, and forward Juan Mata will look to give everything to land United's first Europa League title.
"It’s really important for us," he told manutd.com. "We’ve played a lot of games but, for me, when you reach a final, the mental power is much stronger than the physical side of it."
"We are just focused on giving the last push of the season," Mata concluded. "Using all our strength and leaving everything on the pitch, and trying to win."