JOSE Mourinho has admitted Manchester United do not want to be in the Europa League – but has vowed to take the competition seriously.
The United manager also revealed that he had left Wayne Rooney out of the Europa League squad to face Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Thursday in order to give his captain a rest.
Rooney is one of six players along with Luke Shaw, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard, Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones who did not travel to Holland on Wednesday.
Jones, the England defender, has been ruled out for a month after suffering a lateral knee ligament problem, another set-back in the player’s long line of injuries.
Mourinho inherited a team in Europe’s secondary cup competition after United’s failure to finish in the top four under Louis van Gaal last season but he claims he is determined not to write off the competition.
“This is not a competition Manchester United wants, what I want, what the players want, but it is a competition where we are, and that is the reality, so we have to look at it with respect,” said Mourinho.
“We want to do well in the competition and for a club of our stature, to do well is not to go out of the competition at the group stage.”