Jose Mourinho opens up about FA Cup, Wenger and fan support ahead of Tottenham game

Jose Mourinho

Manchester United left behind last weekend’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to West Brom by defeating Bournemouth on Wednesday.

With one eye on the FA Cup semi-finals against Tottenham on Saturday, Mourinho rested few players, including Alexis Sanchez, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku. The move worked well as United put up a professional display to defeat Bournemouth 2-0.

On Friday, Mourinho addressed the media ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

Team news

According to Manchester Evening News, Sergio Romero will be the only absentee against Spurs. The Argentine has been a permanent fixture in the cup competitions this season but is unlucky to miss out this time due to a knee injury.

It is going to be a massive game tomorrow as both teams eye their first silverware of the campaign. The game will take place at Wembley, which has been Tottenham’s home this season but Mourinho’s troops will be buoyant to get the job done and earn a place in the FA Cup final.

Asked about United’s support at Wembley, Mourinho told in his pre-match presser (h/t manutd.com):

“If the 30,000 fans are similar to the 1,000 or 2,000 that we have at every away match, then we will be more than at home. It depends on their profile, but it also depends on us, it also depends on the team and the way we perform, the way we fight, the way we commit to every second of the game. I think that will also make an influence on the fans.”

Last weekend, United were stunned by bottom club West Brom at Old Trafford. It was a really poor performance from the Red Devils and it is tough to believe that we failed to score against a team that has been leaking goals for fun since the start of the season.

However, United bounced back to winning ways at Bournemouth which would give a lot of confidence to our boys ahead of the FA Cup semi-final.

Mourinho felt that the win against the Cherries helped his team break the ‘negative dynamic’. In the presser, the United manager thanked Fulham and the club’s manager Slavisa Jokanovic for letting us use the club’s training facilities to prepare for the Spurs game.

The FA Cup is the oldest competition in world football and holds a place in the hearts of millions of fans. However, is the ‘magic of the Cup’ really still alive?

Mourinho explained in his presser (h/t manutd.com):

“I won it only once but the feeling is great because of the meaning of the competition and we obviously have to try to give everything [to win it] but for now, we have to try to reach the final and, after this match, we still have four Premier League matches to focus on.”

Earlier, Arsene Wenger declared that he will step down as the Arsenal manager at the end of the season. One of the most prominent figures in world football, the Frenchman won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, including the double in 1998 and 2002.

 

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho

In the press conference, Mourinho paid a rich tribute to Wenger, saying (quoted by manutd.com):

“If he is happy, I am happy. If he’s sad, I’m sad. I always wish the best for my opponents. I’m pretty sure that we as a club and especially because Mr. Wenger and Arsenal were, for many many years, the biggest rivals of Sir Alex’s era, if you can say that, I’m pretty sure that we as a club will show Mr. Wenger the respect that he deserves.”

“Three Premier League titles, seven FA Cups and not just that, what he did in Japan, in France, what he brought to French football, what he gave to Arsenal, even in the period without Premier League titles. So again, if he’s happy with the decision, I’m really happy and I hope he doesn’t retire from football.”

United will need to be at their very best in every department to beat Tottenham tomorrow and progress to the FA Cup final. The FA Cup remains our only chance of silverware this season and let us hope Mourinho and co. win the competition.