Jose Mourinho vowed to play the kids in Manchester United’s season-ending dead rubber against Crystal Palace – and begged Sam Allardyce to go easy on them.
Mourinho hit out at the scheduling of United’s final league game on Sunday – just three days before next Wednesday’s Europa League final – and claimed it left him with no choice other than to rest some of his stars and field an inexperienced team.
He said: “I will bring (Demitri) Mitchell, (Scott) McTominay who were on the bench, Axel Tunazebe, Eric Bailly (suspended for the final), (Matty) Willock will come too, Josh Harrop will come, Zachary (Dearnley) will come.
“Pogba will come because Pogba is not training or playing since his dad passed away.
“And I will put in two or three of my boys who I have been rotating during the games, making some changes to save them.
“But I need to give a little stretch to four or five of my boys to give some stability to the kids.
“I hope the fans at Old Trafford on Sunday, they support the team, they forgive some naivety and lack of confidence.
“And I hope that Big Sam shows that he’s a good friend and he goes slow. He tells Zaha to go slow, he leaves Benteke at home. I hope he goes soft on us.
“We are sixth so I think the moment Crystal Palace beat Hull City and Hull City is relegated, and Swansea is safe the match has to be Saturday.
“In any country in the world, it would be Saturday. It’s frustrating for me. I hope you don’t kill me when you see my team.”
United’s limp towards the Premier League finish line continued at St Mary’s when they were held to a bore draw at Southampton and needed a sixth-minute Sergio Romero penalty save from Manolo Gabbiadini to earn a point.
Saints boss Claude Puel could have done with that going in to ease the pressure on him after chairman Ralph Krueger revealed his position would be reviewed at the end of the season.
Puel said: “Any teams have a debrief this is normal. After the last game. For the moment it’s important to keep good focus. We have the possibility to finish eighth. After we have time to discuss.”