Jose Mourinho: 'Ajax should not be in Europa League'

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admits the string of youngsters set to face Crystal Palace are not ready for this weekend's baptism of fire.

We've played a complete Premier League minus one match in five months.

But Mourinho disagrees with the system that sees sides drop out of the Champions League - like Ajax did in the play-off round - and join the Europa League along with clubs like United who start off in the tournament.

According to Mourinho, the English FA doesn't arrange fixtures in a favorable way for English teams to perform better in Europe. To play so many kids at the same time, honestly, I don't think it's good. I think Ajax make the right investments at the right times.

Depending on the outcome of the game at Old Trafford, Palace can finish anywhere from 11th to 16th position, but they stand a good chance of upsetting under-strength Manchester United on the final day of the season. Like United this campaign, the Reds made the final of the League Cup and the Europa League, although failed to win in both finals.

After the draw at St Mary's, Mourinho said: "I will bring [Demetri] Mitchell, [Scott] McTominay who were on the bench, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly, [Matty] Willock will come too, Josh Harrop will come, Zachary [Dearnley] will come".

"We have a few in crutches but everybody goes". When I know the battle is lost I don't fight.

Mourinho said: "The problem is the price tag on his back".

"The next match Joel (Pereira, United's 20-year-old third-choice goalkeeper) is playing his first match in the Premier League". It will be a big occasion but I think the best for the young player is in the middle of an experienced structure, where he can be supported.

"I prefer to hand debuts to only one young player at a time".

The former Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager also gave fitness update of his senior players ahead of Sunday's match against Palace. "No one likes to lose so I am still anxious about that".

"It's going to be one of the most important games in my life".

  • Julie Sanders