Jose Mourinho has insisted his focus is to avoid injuries ahead of the Manchester derby in Beijing on Monday because the pitch is “very bad.”
Mourinho also pointed out that United are without many key players, unlike Manchester City, for the derby at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in the Chinese capital.
“City against United for me is at Old Trafford or at the Etihad or even the cup final at Wembley,” Mourinho said. “Not a friendly. Maybe, with these conditions, it’s a double friendly.
“The pitch is very bad and the condition of my players is more important than results. We cannot just run away and disappear and not play, so we have to play and try to be lucky.
“Normally when we say ‘lucky,’ we say ‘lucky’ because we want a good result. The result I want tomorrow is to go home without injuries.
“Manchester City have all of their players. We have six, seven or eight, which played in the Euros [and have not travelled to China]. What I want is to get back to Manchester and train with the full group.”
Mourinho had moved the news conference outside to the stadium’s running track due to complaints about the heat in the press room and there being too many journalists.
The United manager gave indications of his unhappy mood, having just suffered his first defeat as manager on Friday by losing 4-1 against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai.
He showed contempt for a couple of questions from reporters, when he was asked about whether he would shake City manager Pep Guardiola’s hand and when he was questioned about his reaction to Portugal’s Euro 2016 win.
Discussing Guardiola, he said: “Of course I’ll shake his hand — I don’t understand the question to him and I don’t understand the question to myself.”
When asked if he is happy about Portugal winning Euro 2016, he said: “Another brilliant question. Are you expecting me to say no?”
When questioned about why the club has come to China, Mourinho said: “It’s good for the fans and for the commercial side of things. We have a good group, we have a good spirit and we cope with it. Tomorrow [Monday] is the last day and then it is over.
“Emotional balance [is what I want to see from United’s players]. I cannot ask for anything from the tactical point of view. I just hope their motivation doesn’t go down from the last few days. Then we go home and play a couple of games.”
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