“Well, we could play Liverpool on the Saturday, we could play Liverpool on the Sunday,” the self-anointed Special One said. “We play Liverpool on the Monday. So maybe we don't have the best conditions, especially because we play against two top Premier League games that don't play in European competitions.
“We had this kind of poisoned gift of playing on the Monday. That creates a very difficult situation, but we want to try and qualify for the next round. We want to try. (There is a) long time to go, almost a month, but we want to try, so we will play against Fenerbahce with a team with possibilities to beat Fenerbahce.”
Mourinho continued to complain that it was impossible to change the fixtures with Chelsea lurking on the Sunday to make it three games in the space of a week.
“I think it is impossible,” Mourinho lamented. “The poisoned gift is already there, so what can you do? We just have to play Monday, and then Thursday, and then Stamford Bridge on the Sunday.”
Manchester United have the luxury of spending more money on a player than any other team has done in the history of the game and should have the squad to cope with this sort of schedule. Wasn't the Europa League a competition that Mourinho admitted that neither he nor his club wants? The Thursday fixture is, therefore, simply insignificant and unimportant. He can play Wayne Rooney all he likes against Fenerbahçe alongside other reserve players who earn north of £100,000 a week and keep his main players fresh for Sunday.
This is just noise. Play your best side on Monday, rest them on Thursday, and go again on Sunday. It's a big week for an expensively-assembled Manchester United squad under a manager whose raison d'être for over a decade is to win immediately. Unimpressive performances in Europe, poor football in general, two league defeats, and a string of underperforming players should be of greater concern than fixture scheules. Excuses, however, always come in handy.