Graeme Souness slams claims Man United are fatigued after Southampton draw

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Manchester United finished their 62nd game of the season by limping to a 0-0 draw with Southampton on Wednesday night.

A Sergio Romero penalty save aside, there weren't too many positives Jose Mourinho could take from the drab encounter at St Mary's.

With next week's Europa League final at the forefront of Mourinho's thinking, United once again opted to rest some of their key men.

After now going three Premier League games without a win, fixture congestion has been the main excuse used by the Red Devils boss as to why their season has finished so badly.

But not everyone is buying it.

Graeme Souness certainly had a bee in his bonnet after being forced to watch the dull affair and didn't hold back in his post-match analysis for Sky Sports.

Sat alongside Jamie Redknapp, Souness refused to accept players can't feature in over 60 games a season.

"We've all done it, we've all been there. It's the price on the ticket if you're winning trophies," the 64-year-old said (skip to 2:25) in the video below.

"If you get to the later stages of European cups... you have to deal with [lots of games]. It's nothing new in football.

"Big players have to say to themselves 'I'm not tired.' I mean it, I never ever felt tired. I think what happened if I did feel tired, it would be maybe we'd lost a couple of games and you started to feel sorry for yourself, and that would last a nano-minute.

"The more success we had, I couldn't wait for the next game to come along. The last thing I would want is a manager continuously telling me I'm tired.

"You're handing an excuse to your players to not play well. I talk from experience. People say the game has changed, but has it changed that much?

"Was that a difficult game of football tonight?' he asked. 'No it wasn't. Was it a tough game against Tottenham at the weekend? It wasn't a terribly demanding physical game where they were getting knocks."

"Was it a physically demanding game against Arsenal the week before when you're sitting in there, not chasing the game? I don't see it. You deal with it and you get on with it. This is not a new problem."

Falling away from contention to finish in the top four has placed even greater importance on winning the Europa League.

There is a general understanding that failure to start in the Champions League next term will mean Mourinho's debut campaign will be judged as a poor one.

And Redknapp agrees United's season will all boil down to next week's tie vs Ajax in Stockholm.

He added: "His reputation almost rests on next week.

"If they lose it's been a massively disappointing season. If they win, great season.

"The way the team play is the most damning thing. They get outrun by every single team. They need more pace, more energy. It's a mish-mash of players. Wednesday is so big for him, for his reputation, with the fans and with everyone. He knows it as well."

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