Ed Woodward hails Manchester United's 'tremendous progress' under Jose Mourinho

They will claim an automatic spot in the Champions League group stage if they beat Ajax in the Europa League final on May 24.

Speaking after United's 2-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday, which ended their top four hopes, Mourinho identified to the possibility of an continental title as a point of envy.

Mourinho said, "I'm not upset because we had to make that decision, when people say we gambled, we didn't gamble".

Jose Mourinho ended his Sky Sports interview on Sunday early when he was asked what Manchester United need to do to challenge for the title next season.

"So if we can win a third title, or like you like to say a second title, if we can do that it would be magnificent for us because we know that it's a big objective". We had 2-1, we could have had 2-2 and I'm happy and I'm fine with what we had in terms of individual performances.

"If I have Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, Timothy Fosu-Mensa - if I have them I can rotate".

Michael Carrick's future could come down to Manchester United beating Ajax in the Europa League final next week. "And one last match to play, because in this moment the Premier League is just matches we don't want to play".

"But to finish the season with four matches away from home, Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City". You can't play two big competitions with 15 players.

"Even the draw [for the fixtures], if it is a draw, I never understood well if it is a draw", Mourinho said. I can not lose 5-0 or 6-0.

The Portuguese, who confirmed that midfielder Paul Pogba will miss Wednesday's game following the death of his father, said he was struggling to grant his players time off to recover between matches. "So it's difficult, difficult, but we know what we are doing". I'm not sure my heart could take that.

Mourinho says he is having to do "a la carte" preparation for his players, juggling rest, preparation and matches.

Balancing the desire to win with resting players has been hard and Mourinho said it would have been worse it not for Oliver's decision to red card Ander Herrera sending off in the 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Chelsea in March. They played 90 minutes, the ones that needed to play, I rested a few people, no injuries.

  • Julie Sanders