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Mourinho: Sunday will be a big day for the kids because lots of them are going to play

Manchester United pulled another draw out of the bag away to Southampton in the penultimate match of the Premier League on Wednesday evening. There were few chances for United, a few more for the home side throughout the game, neither of them getting close to breaking the deadlock. Well, Southampton were closer if it was not for the form of Sergio Romero, who is playing well at this moment in time ahead of his UEFA Europa League final start in a weeks time in Sweden. During the match both Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini headed straight for the tunnel after being substituted with Fellaini carrying an injury. Speaking to MUTV, reported by the official Manchester United website, Jose Mourinho said:

“Fellaini, on top of his experience, he says it’s not a tear. On top of his experience, he says it was a minimal thing but minimal can be a big thing. Let’s wait for tomorrow but he needed to play.

“I couldn’t protect him as he needed to play. He didn’t play for three matches due to suspension. Players need not only to rest but also to play. He wasn’t playing a lot so he had to play today. I don’t blame myself or our decision but let’s wait.”

Eric Bailly also suffered a little problem during the match, but that is less of a worry after he saw himself suspended for the Europa League final next week. Mourinho spoke about the Ivorian, who is one of the star players this season and will no doubt be a big miss in Sweden next week. The manager said:

“The one with little problems is the one [player] that can have little problems,” he added. “Eric, because he’s not playing the final [due to suspension].”

Sergio Romero, the Man of the Match for me this evening, gave his first interview with MUTV in English after the match, which was good to see. Here’s what he said:

Jose Mourinho spoke about the result at Southampton this evening, also saying that his players showed that they wanted to play in the UEFA Europa League final next week.

Mourinho on how we must wait for Marouane Fellaini:

“He says it’s not a [hamstring] tear. He believes it’s a minimal thing but minimal can be a big thing. Let’s wait for tomorrow. I couldn’t protect him as he needed to play after suspension. Players need not only to rest but also to play. I don’t blame myself or our decision but let’s wait. The one with little problems is the one that can]have little problems, Eric [Bailly], because he’s not playing the final.”

Mourinho on his players show their hunger to play in the Europa League final:

“I think we played a good game against a good team, a team that tried to win because they try to finish well and will probably finish eighth and I think we did more than okay. All of them gave me positive feelings. Of course Sergio [Romero] had a very good performance, I’d say more than very good, but with a little mistake here and there. The team was not perfect but I think the players individually gave me good things, they showed me they want to be in the final, they showed me they want to be an option and they gave everything they have but we still have the Sunday match.”

Mourinho on his team being in safe hands with Sergio Romero:

“It’s the Argentina national team goalkeeper [Romero] and the Spanish national team goalkeeper [David De Gea], two of the best countries in the world with good traditions of goalkeeping. We have these two guys and they are phenomenal and I keep saying the Portuguese kid [Joel Pereira] is a very good goalkeeper so in relation to that we’re in safe gloves.”

Mourinho on when David De Gea will play for Manchester United again:

“I think the first match against LA Galaxy in pre-season in Los Angeles. I hope to play Joel against Crystal Palace and I hope to play Sergio in the final and hopefully we don’t have problems with these two keepers. David is top in the world and obviously we want to keep the top [keeper] in the world.”

Mourinho on youth playing against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday:

“Sunday will be a big day for the kids because lots of them are going to play. I hope the crowd enjoys that in spite of it not being a big strong, Man United team and I hope Big Sam shows he’s really a friend and he goes slow and leaves [Christian] Benteke at home!” [Smiles]

Mourinho on whether winning the Europa League will make the season:

“I understand that from your [the media] point of view and your perspective that’s the big headline. I understand that we’re in the final and to be back in the Champions League makes a whole difference for all of you and you analyse a team’s season, but I know what I gave and I know what the players gave and from our perspective we are not going to accept that one goal, one save, one post, something that is going to decide a final, is going to decide if we worked well or worked bad. I think we gave everything we could give, we fought against so many difficult circumstances and I’m proud of the boys no matter what.”

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