Mourinho stages the briefest press conference of all
- Author: Rosalie Stanley May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 15:19
I am a red and I want to win the final, more than anything in the world.
With most members of the media watching the players and what could prove to be Wayne Rooney's farewell to Old Trafford, Mourinho walked into a virtually empty media conference room, sat down and when no questions were forthcoming walked out again after precisely seven seconds.
He hasn't disappointed, as four youngsters make the senior squad for the first time in Kieran O'Hara, Josh Harrop, Santi Gomes and Zak Dearnley, with several other surprise inclusions in the starting line-up as seen below.
When then asked if he knew his team for the final in Stockholm, Mourinho replied: "I know, but let me go".
"I think one in the middle of a good structure, a dynamic structure, an experienced structure, I think, yes". Mourinho's response was curt: "A pundit is not honest if they can not forget their colours".
The Ivory Coast defender was able to continue but, with Wednesday in mind, Mourinho brought off Pogba and Lingard in the final minutes of the half, a move he had promised to make to allow the pair to enjoy a standing ovation from supporters and rest for the final. It's not my fault if their managerial career was very poor. "But we are Manchester United and we have to go there and try to win". Souness said that such complaints become a self-fulfilling prophecy: the manager speaking about tiredness gives the players an excuse for underperformance.
Angel Gomes, 16, became United's youngest debutant in more than half a century after making his bow in the game and born on August 31, 2000, he is also the first player to play in the Premier League born this millennium.
Eric Bailly, already suspended for the Europa League final, limped off with an injury for United early in the second half, having landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge with Benteke. "It's the last game of the season and we were given a chance to impress".
"I felt a lot of love from the Ajax fans as well in recent years, it [the scepticism] was only for a small period".
Later, Souness (the man who signed Ali Dia) said that United "had their trousers pulled down" over the fee for Paul Pogba.
United were content to play out the 45 minutes with a defensive-minded approach to maintain the lead and limit any risk to players who could play a role against Ajax, and Palace failed to generate any consistent attacking pressure as a result.