Jose Mourinho and I have good relationship, says Juan Mata

"We want to play European football, hopefully it is Tuesday and Wednesdays, instead of Thursday's, but if it's Thursdays we will play Thursdays and it wouldn't be an excuse to try to win the title".

The Portuguese gaffer knows he could face the mother of all inquests if the Red Devils lose in Stockholm and blow their big chance of Champions League qualification.

The match will be United's 64th and last of the season, and Mourinho used his programme notes on Sunday to blast pundits - including Graeme Souness - who claimed he was wrong to suggest his players were exhausted.

"We need to face this game with the right mentality and try to avoid mistakes as much as we can and try to make a very good game".

Jose Mourinho's absence from Manchester United's salute of their fans at Old Trafford bothers the FC crew.

Herrera has shown his gratitude to Mourinho by repeatedly defending his manager in a hard season, with the run to the Europa League final and the League Cup triumph the saving graces of a campaign that has fallen well short of expectations.

"That is what Jose is good at, speaking about how we can do that mentally and how we can be ready mentally".

Ander Herrera attracted admiration from the last four Manchester United managers, from being man-marked by Alex Ferguson to being scouted by David Moyes and signed by Louis Van Gaal, but it is under Jose Mourinho that the little Spaniard has truly thrived.

It is Mourinho's winning mentality that Mata believes makes him the flawless fit for United. If you are the manager or a player for this club, you have high demands.

"You are always asked to reach the top".

And Herrera insists that he is not even entertaining the prospect of Manchester United not beating Ajax on Wednesday night in Sweden.

"The manager had a conversation and told me I was going to be an important player if I do what he wanted me to do", he added.

"Everyone has their own way, everyone has their own personality and their own way of thinking about football - the way to play and win". I think he's got a terrific balance going into Wednesday.

'Normally it's dinner time and we'd be round the table having something to eat and then the TV would be put on, ' he says. There is a rush about results (to get wins quickly) and if you don't think like this you don't fit the profile to be at the top level. I can go for every match.

  • Julie Sanders