Jose Mourinho was unhappy about the timing of Manchester United’s FA Cup quarterfinal match against Chelsea, but said he wouldn’t disrespect the FA Cup by fielding a weaker side the way Manchester City did last season under Manuel Pellegrini.
United beat St Etienne 1-0 in their Europa League round-of-32 second leg on Wednesday to advance in the competition. That means Mourinho’s team will be forced to play a last-16 leg of the competition either side of their FA Cup clash with Chelsea on Monday, March 13.
That busy week could become even more complicated if United are forced to travel a long distance in the Europa League, leaving Mourinho perplexed as to why the timing of the FA Cup match was announced before Friday’s Europa League draw.
Asked if he was worried the FA Cup scheduling would hinder his chances of progress, Mourinho said: “Of course and I feel really surprised that the decision is made before our draw in Europe.
“Because in this moment nobody knows where we play, nobody knows where the first and second matches are.
“Imagine we play Chelsea on Monday and then we have to go to the second match in Europe in Russia, Turkey or Greece.
I think afresh the interests, they go before the clubs and English football’s interests, and no one thinks about it. In any case, this is the thing that I have.”
Mourinho additionally ripped into adversaries Manchester City after their quite changed side last season lost 5-1 at Chelsea in the FA Cup.
“I can’t play against Chelsea with the second group. I can’t play against Chelsea with the under-21s like Manchester City did a year ago. I can’t do that — we are Manchester United.
“I don’t do that as Manchester United director. I don’t do that to the FA Cup in light of the fact that the FA Cup is not blameworthy of these choices.
“The FA Cup is lovely, the opposition is chronicled. I need to treat Manchester United supporters and the FA Cup in the correct way.
“I can’t run there with under-21s. Likely they would merit it, however I don’t do that, so what will happen is a gathering of matches.
“Individuals playing a considerable measure of matches, I need to make some revolution yet a portion of the young men should play in all these back to back matches.”“