CSKA v United - Mourinho Pre-Match Press Conference
After arriving safely in Moscow, ahead of the Champions League Group 'A` fixture with CSKA, Jose Mourinho held his pre-match press conference.
The boss fielded questions on a raft of subjects, most of which we`ve covered below.
Amongst the first thing asked related to the absence of Marouane Fellaini and other key men in the midfield department, prompting Jose to reply,
'The solutions are not many. We are trying not to focus on individual battles in specific areas on the pitch, we are going to have a team with quality and balance to try to win the match.
'That's our objective.'
Next the assembled hacks moved on to the fact that Jose, having been sent to the cards in the fixture against Southampton, last Saturday, had escaped further punishment, prompting Jose to bounce back with,
'If I am not punished it is because there were no reasons for the sending off.
'I am happy that was recognised and that I can be doing my work normally against Crystal Palace. That is enough for me.'
And moving on, Jose was asked for his thoughts on United`s opponents this Wednesday evening, prompting Jose to comment,
'This is the best CSKA Moscow side I have faced.
'We are going to have a team with quality, with balance, to try to win the match which is our objective.'
With Henrikh Mkhitaryan sat beside him, Jose pointed out that was purely because the Armenian spoke Russian and could assist him with the interview, not as a sign he starts tomorrow, with Jose remarking,
'I'm not saying he starts the match. The reason he comes is because I want to make life easier for you. He speaks Russian.
'You're right he played well last season in the Europa League. The Champions League is another level and the quality is higher.'
And on lessons learned from the hard-fought for win against Southampton, Jose remarked,
'Looking at the Southampton game on TV with time I think there is an episode in the first half that could transform the game. We could then be in control and win the game easily.
'But in the second half we had to be humble, accept the opponent was on a high and fight hard.
'We have to accept the reality of high level football and cope when the opponent has a strong moment.'
Returning the subject of Fellaini, Jose continued, commenting,
'Fellaini was lucky. It could be a much worse situation but in a moment where we don't have Pogba and Carrick he becomes even more important than he always is. I expect Fellaini not to be out for a long time.'
However, Jose refused to blame the referee, Craig Pawson, with the boss pointing out,
'There is no camera for Craig and he made that decision.
'But in the moment when we don't have Pogba and Carrick, Marouane becomes even more important than he always us. Not having him tomorrow is a difficult situation for us but I don`t expect him to be out for a long time.'
And with that, the boss was gone!