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Jose Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho is furious with the state of Rostov's pitch for Man Utd game

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For a long time it seemed Jose Mourinho's first season in charge of Manchester United was going to end in failure - but not any more.

A strong couple of months have yielded EFL Cup glory, a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and the Europe League last 16.

And that's without mentioning a potential place in the top four, with Arsenal and Liverpool just one and three points ahead in fifth and fourth respectively.

Truth be told, United fans would probably settle for one trophy and a Champions League spot.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013, the Red Devils have gone through two managers and struggled to maintain their usually high standards.

Time's are changing, though. Mourinho arrived last May and, having spent over £150 million on new recruits in the summer, is on the verge of something special at United.

Last weekend's dour showing against Bournemouth may have suggested otherwise, but the 1-1 draw wasn't in keeping with how they have performed of late.

Winning the Europa League is still regarded as their best route into the Champions League next season. They face Russian side FC Rostov on Thursday night in a two-legged encounter they're expected to win.

FBL-ENG-LCUP-MAN UTD-SOUTHAMPTON

Do so and they'll be through to the quarter-finals and in with an excellent chance.

But there's a problem. Ahead of the game at the Olimp-2 Stadium, Mourinho has expressed anger at the state of Rostov's pitch and the fact the game is going ahead (see below).

SUNDAY LEAGUE STANDARD

Dry, malnourished and patchy, the pitch is in terrible condition - just look at how high the ball bounces when Marcos Rojo throws it at the ground.

UEFA have since confirmed the game will go ahead, despite Mourinho's complaints.

When asked to describe the surface, per the Daily Mail, he said: "Beijing. It's still hard for me to believe that we are going to play tomorrow (Thursday).

FBL-ENG-LCUP-MAN UTD-SOUTHAMPTON

"I know we have to, but I find it hard to believe we are going to play on that field, if you can call it a field.

"I don't know which team to play, really. I have now a lot to think because I was expecting something more playable.

Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

"I didn't have any contact with anyone until now. I just had a quick contact with gentleman from UEFA when I was looking at the pitch.

"When I told him about my concerns the gentlemen just told me the players are insured - if something happens no problem.

"I was analysing this very good opponent. In the previous matches against Bayern Munich, Ajax and Atletico Madrid, in all these matches it looked for me a very playable pitch. I was very surprised with what I found here today."

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Topics:
Europa League
Football
Paul Pogba
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain

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