Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has urged his side to take the game to Young Boys straight from kick-off when they face the Swiss club in a Champions League tie at Old Trafford later today.
Victory for Mourinho’s men, allied to a Valencia failure to beat Juventus, would see United qualify for the last 16 of European club football’s elite competition with a game to spare.
Mourinho slammed United after their lacklustre goalless draw with Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace last weekend that left them seventh in the table – well adrift of the qualifying positions for next season’s Champions League.
He warned then that a repeat display against Youngs Boys would leave United needing to go Spain and beat Valencia in their final Group H game if they were to remain involved in the competition.
“I want my players to be proactive, not reactive. I want my players to be strong,” Mourinho said Monday, as many United fans blame their stuttering form on the manager’s cautious approach.
“It is not a crucial game, but I want to play like it is the last chance to qualify. I want to play like a knockout game.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho said Sweden international Victor Lindelof will miss Tuesday’s match and possibly much of the busy upcoming Christmas period with a muscle injury.
“He will be out for quite a while. We have (Eric) Bailly and (Phil) Jones. Marcos Rojo has some little injury and Victor an injury – a proper injury – that will keep him out for a while, so Jones, (Chris) Smalling and Bailly are the three we have at the time.”