Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho reflects on 'hardest season' in management

"If we want to try and get some results and protect players, which matches to protect players?"

"But, if it comes off, he will end the season with two trophies and qualify for the Champions League with a team that was going nowhere before he arrived".

Mourinho shrugged off any disappointment surrounding a probable sixth-place finish for his EFL Cup winners - United have not finished lower since David Moyes' shambolic tenure in the 2013-14 season. But if I was on your side, in your chair, it makes (sense). I never saw in all my career two goalkeepers be so friendly, because it's a position where you always have a little bit of rivalry, especially if you're both the same kind of level.

Mourinho says he has worked "harder than ever" during his maiden United campaign, which has already featured a League Cup triumph and victory over Leicester City in the Community Shield.

Rooney could start from a deeper role than he has normally employed under Mourinho as United rest a number of key first-teamers ahead of the Europa League final against Ajax and also give a period of compassionate leave to Paul Pogba after the death of his father on Friday.

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"But the opponent was hard, the match was hard, the stadium was hard, so I cannot be happier with the players and their work".

"So it's hard but we know what we are doing and I don't know other clubs, I don't know the way they think, I don't know what is important for them". They're friends and they support each other all the time.

Mourinho has in mind the line-up he would like to select on May 24 in Stockholm and will continue to rotate in the final two Premier League matches, having seen positives in defeat at Spurs.

"And the fact he has been able to motivate players, who showed last season what moody devils they can be, is further proof of just what a great manager he is".

"But if everything goes normal and we have no problems, Sergio plays the final".

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