The North London outfit have one of the best teams in the Premier League, and it is hard to imagine them not finishing in the top four. His side's form in the Champions League had not been enough to placate the board in light of their brush with the Premier League relegation zone and within little more than a week he would be gone.
Tomorrow: Maribor PL v Spartak Moscow, Liverpool v Sevilla, Feyenord v Man City, Shakhtar Donetsk v Napoli, Leipzig v Monco, FC Porto v Besiktas, Real Madrid v Apoel Nicossia, Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund.
That's why I think Zlatan could play a bigger role in Europe than he does in the Premier League this season.
"Every game is unbelievable for Manchester United for me but the Champions League is the most attractive competition apart from the Premier League", he declared.
He said: 'The difference is it's still big in the Europa League and you still play very good teams, but maybe not the biggest clubs.
"Even in his final knockout game as Chelsea manager, when they were upset by 10-man Paris Saint-Germain, they suffered injustices of their own over the 120 minutes but still went on to win the league with no more European football to distract them".
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We have quality throughout this squad, but we're looking forward, we're excited by this competition. I must be realistic, I must be calm, to make the best decision for these seven games.
"Apart from that there many teams in Champions League who are very similar to teams in the Europa League".
Mourinho continued explaining, "We were playing one match per week, I never felt reasons to make changes, but I play them tomorrow and, for me, it is exactly the same as Bailly and Jones".
He added: "I think it's easier for him to play Champions League, it's more comparable to the Portuguese style of football, to the football in the Portuguese League".
The Old Trafford crowd's first encounter with their current manager in March 2004 exposed them to the full force of Mourinho the provocateur.
However, Nemanja Matic continued to boss the midfield, and with a team consisting of eight players over 6ft, United weren't lacking their own aerial dominance when Stoke crossed a ball in for Choupo-Moting's equaliser. "We can. But to say in this moment we are candidates for this, candidates for that... at this moment we are just candidates to win the match against Basel".
He later claimed he already knew about Ferguson's impending retirement at that point and his unusually diplomatic comments before and after the game suggested a desire to ingratiate himself with United's fans and board. It's the best thing you can play in'.