Premier League

Don’t kill me when you see my team: Mourinho confirms United will field youth players against Palace

The Premier League’s unwillingness to help Manchester United with fixtures before the Europa League final will force his hand, the manager said.

Jose Mourinho says the Premier League’s unwillingness to help Manchester United prepare for their Europa League final will force him to pick youth players against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

United finish their league campaign against Palace at Old Trafford before facing Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm next Wednesday, a game they must win to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

With nothing riding on Sunday’s game for either United or Palace, who are assured of avoiding relegation, Mourinho believes it should have been moved forward a day.

“In any country in the world, the match would be Saturday because Sunday, we are sixth, doesn’t matter what, and Crystal Palace is safe,” the United manager told reporters after Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Southampton.

“So I think after the moment Crystal Palace beat Hull City and Hull City is relegated, and Swansea is safe, I think in that moment, the match has to be Saturday.

“In any country in the world, it would be Saturday. It’s going to be Sunday. It’s frustrating for me. And I hope you don’t kill me when you see my team.”

Asked if he had submitted a request for the game to be moved, Mourinho replied, “I don’t lose time. When I know that the battle is lost, I don’t fight the battle.

“You [journalists] are English, you are here since you were born. I’m here already, four plus three, seven years. I never saw any detail of trying to care about the English teams involved in European competitions.

“I never saw that with Chelsea, I never saw that with Manchester United, with [Champions League semi-finalists] Manchester City last year. I never saw.

“So I think it’s just a lost battle. We have to accept the way it is.”

The United manager has confirmed Sergio Romero will start the Europa League final and the Argentina goalkeeper seized a chance to shine at Southampton, plunging to his right to save a sixth-minute penalty from Manolo Gabbiadini.

Big Sam plea

Rather than restore his usual number one, David de Gea, to his starting XI against Palace, Mourinho said he would hand a league debut to 20-year-old third-choice goalkeeper Joel Pereira.

Mourinho said Axel Tuanzebe, who has started United’s last three league games, would be involved, along with his fellow academy graduates Demetri Mitchell, Scott McTominay, Matty Willock, Josh Harrop and Zachary Dearnley.

“I hope the fans at Old Trafford support the team, they forgive some naivety, they forgive some lack of confidence,” Mourinho said.

“And I hope that Big Sam [Allardyce, the Palace manager] shows he is a good friend and he goes slow. He tells [Wilfried] Zaha to go slow, he leaves [Christian] Benteke at home. I hope he goes soft on us.”

Mourinho also said centre-back Eric Bailly, who is suspended for the final, would feature, as well as Paul Pogba, who has been granted compassionate leave following the death of his father last Friday.

Marouane Fellaini came off rubbing the back of his right thigh against Southampton, but Mourinho said the Belgian midfielder was confident he had not torn his hamstring.

The result at St Mary’s was United’s 15th draw of a frustrating league season and means they are guaranteed to register their lowest number of wins in a campaign since the 1990-’91 season.

But United were already guaranteed to finish sixth, while Southampton, who have not scored in four successive top-flight home games for the first time, remain eighth.

Southampton manager Claude Puel refused to discuss his future at the club, which is the subject of speculation.

“I try to stay focused about our last game now,” said the Frenchman, whose side finish their campaign at home to Stoke City on Sunday. “After the season we have time to discuss and speak about this and make a debrief. It’s important to focus on our last game.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.

Play

To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.