Jose Mourinho walks out of post-match interview

Jose Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insists that his club would rather win the Europa League than finish in the Premier League's top four.

An unerring knack to draw matches they have dominated has cost United, with their top-four hopes extinguished once and for all on Sunday.

Europa League glory also offers qualification for the Champions League - the only way they can return to the continent's top table after Sunday's 2-1 loss at Tottenham officially put a top-four finish out of reach.

The Europa League final against Ajax will then be played on the following Wednesday. Nobody can play two big competitions with 15 players and this is what we have at the time. It's as simple as that. "It's not possible to do it [play] every three days".

But Mourinho says that for the next two domestic matches it is more important to show a fighting spirit than to achieve a victory.

"The most important thing for us is there were no injuries and some people were having a proper rest". If we had met in a different situation...

"I have to build some teams with the minimum of conditions to fight for a result", Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. I have been so proud of all these young kids. I can not lose 5-0 or 6-0.

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Bayern have already won the Bundesliga this term, while the two Champions League finalists - Juventus and Real Madrid - are top of Serie A and second in La Liga respectively.

Mourinho says he already has an idea of the team he would like to align against Ajax and he must now strike a balance between resting his key players and making sure they are fit and firing for the trip to Sweden. You know what we have been working on all season? We know if we lose the final, we don't play Champions League.

In a dig aimed at Liverpool and Manchester City, who are favoured to finish in the top four, he said that lifting silverware was paramount for big clubs.

Following today's 2-1 defeat, Mourinho spoke to Sky Sports about his frustrations at the injury crisis.

'The two goals are bad to concede but the team is not used to playing together'.

"I will analyze the individual performances of the players and try to understand who can give me a little bit more for the final".

"The last month or so we have been disappointed and we are hurting from that", said Evans.

Tottenham will have to get over their Wembley jitters to do that, but the future certainly looks bright as their new stadium takes shape.

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