nsucurrent.com May 23, 2018

How Herrera became unlikely leader of Mourinho's United

02 June 2017, 02:05 | Nina Perez

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba

Phil Jones admits that Manchester United's season hinges on beating Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm on Wednesday.

If Mourinho's side win they will claim their second trophy of the season, following the EFL Cup, as well as qualifying for the Champions League next season.

The Dutch giants stand in the way of Jose Mourinho's men and a place in club football's elite competition, with the winners of the Europa League final guaranteed a spot in next season's Champions League.

Last year, United had six pre-season friendlies including the Community Shield against Leicester City, but as we saw during his time at Chelsea, Mourinho puts a huge emphasis on the quantity of games that his players play in pre-season.

He insists he has been forced to prioritise the Europa League over the Premier League in a bid to secure Champions League football.

The Portuguese chose to heavily rotate the team ahead of Wednesday night's big showdown with Ajax in the UEFA Europa League final and it paid off as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Crystal Palace. Hopefully we can start from the final against Ajax on Wednesday.

As the game began to enter the final stages, midfield work horse Luka Milivojević gave young Portuguese stopper Pereira a late test with a powerful drive, but it was comfortably stopped by a safe pair of hands.

Seventeen-year-old defender Matthijs de Ligt could become the youngest player ever to take the field in a European final, less than a year after he was lining up in Ajax's youth team against Emmen in the Jupiler League.

Given the millions in prize money up for grabs that was little surprise, yet the way the hosts' callow side bossed much of the game did.

"They fought to be in the final and they are there for a reason", he says.

"But which player wouldn't want to stay at Manchester United?".

With this in mind, Mourinho needs to pick a confident attacking line up that will remind United's opponents of exactly what they are up against and set the tone for how they plan to approach the game.

Mourinho's team selection has come under fire towards the end of the season with his side reaching the final of the Europa League, according to United Kingdom based newspaper The Independent. We will have time to think about different things afterwards. We've had a few managers, different players coming and going, but I feel really happy to be at this club.

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