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Jose Mourinho: "Tomorrow's pitch is bad"

Jose Mourinho wants to win the Europa League, but isn't too sure about the playing conditions.

Manchester United FC v FC Zorya Luhansk - UEFA Europa League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Game tomorrow means press conference today: that's how the world works. So Jose Mourinho has been chatting to the Ukrainian press, as well as any from England who've managed to make it over, and has been saying all manner of intensely exciting things.

That ... that was a lie.

In amongst all the usual platitudes — "the most important competition is always the next match"; "we need points tomorrow"; "the first step is to qualify" — Mourinho did raise one important point about the trip, and it wasn't about the travel. Asked about the flight, he replied:

The flight was good thank you. The hotel is good, the stadium is good, the pitch is bad, but it is very cold and I know that it is difficult to have a better pitch.

But he won't be leaving anybody out as a result:

The players I had to leave out to protect, I left them in Manchester. The ones that I brought, I brought them to play and not to protect them.

Likely to play his Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has also been chatting to the press. He's looking forward to returning to Odessa, after playing here with Shakhtar Donetsk:

It's always a pleasure to be here in Ukraine. I have very good memories of playing here. I had four amazing years playing in Ukraine and I can say in my last game in Odessa was a very good one because I scored my first hat-trick ever for Shakhtar so I can say that I am pleased to be here again.

Lovely stuff. Nobody break their ankles, please.