Jose Mourinho: Manchester United "fight for titles", not top four

The Portuguese boss has the chance to win another major trophy in this year's Europa League final

Jose Mourinho

Image: Frank Augstein/AP/Press Association Images

Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United will continue to fight for titles instead of clambering to make the top four this season.

The Portuguese boss looks set to miss out on a Champions League spot based on their position in the table, but can still qualify for Europe's premier club competition next season if they win the Europa League this month.

A nervy performance against Celta Vigo at Old Trafford saw United progress to the final, where they will play Dutch side, Ajax. 

Speaking after Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane - the last game played at the historic ground - Mourinho admitted to reporters that finishing in the top four was no longer priority.

"I don't know other clubs, the way they think or what is important for them," he said. "For us, it's more important to win titles than to finish [in the] top four.

"If we can win a third title - or as you like to say, a second title - that would be magnificent for us. We know if we lose the final, we don't play Champions League. We know that, but we fight for titles.

"Other clubs fighting for the top four would like to be in our position."

Harry Kane scores Tottenham's second goal during Sunday's 2-1 victory at White Hart Lane. Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images 


Mourinho has been a constant critic of the fixture schedule this season, with runs in the FA Cup and Europa League adding to 38 Premier League games. Their exploits in cup competitions also saw them win the League Cup against Southampton in February.

With one eye on their Europa League final date in Stockholm, Mourinho admits he has had to be clever in the way he uses his squad.

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

"If I only have 14 or 15 players, I can't do it. It's as simple as that.

"Of course I have in my mind already what I think is going to be the team and the players who can influence the decisions with positive or negative decisions."

Commenting on the game, Mourinho described Sunday's game as "important" for preparing his players for their final games of the season.

"Two bad goals conceded, but it's a positive game for us. The players that needed to play 90 minutes did it, that was important for them.

"The players who needed the rest got the rest. And we played in a positive way, especially in the second half when we brought a little more quality into the team."