Mourinho: Artificial pitch no excuse, United must beat Young Boys

Sherman Parsons
September 19, 2018

Manchester United open their Champions League campaign against Swiss Super League champions Young Boys.

Regular right back Antonio Valencia has been left out of the squad by Jose Mourinho over fears that the plastic pitch may affect his knees.

They'll face Young Boys for the first time in any competition but United know they face a tricky test in Switzerland on the artificial pitch at the Stade de Suisse this evening so they'll won't be taking anything for granted.

And Mourinho opted to use an unexpected example in the form of tennis great Federer when discussing the pitch in his pre-match news conference.

Defender Luke Shaw will return on Wednesday for the Reds after suffering a concussion.

"I'm happy but you know I was happy after the Tottenham defeat, not with the result but with many things I saw and we felt that match was okay, was the beginning of our improvement". We need to protect his clinical situation.

Marouane Fellaini. The much-maligned midfielder played the full 90 minutes in both wins and he is proving to be the most effective, and perhaps most important, player in Mourinho's armoury.

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Jose Mourinho's side go into the game on the back of two Premier League victories and the spirits appeared high in the camp despite their unusual surroundings.

United players kicked and jumped on the pitch before training on the eve of the game, with coach Michael Carrick instructing them to "get a feel for the pitch" with balls once the warm-up was completed.

The 20-year-old's playing time has been subject to scrutiny in recent days and has clearly irked the United boss.

Diogo Dalot starts for Manchester United.

"Right now, learning the game off the left hand side is flawless with Romelu Lukaku as the focal point and just playing off him suits Rashford".

"So, try to be a little bit happy with the ones that are playing and not to be critical with the ones that are not playing".

"Rashford will learn about other positions when he plays in them which is good for his development but long term I think he'll be a number nine like Thierry Henry".

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