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Mourinho’s secret weapon? United train with Europa League ball ahead of final

Date Posted,May 19, 2017

Jose Mourinho is known for his tactical prowess.

Throughout his career as an elite manager the Manchester United boss has left no stone unturned in his quest for glory.

And as you would expect the Portuguese is approaching the Red Devils’ Europa League final against Ajax with the same level of meticulous planning.

On Friday Mourinho led a Manchester United training session at the club’s Aon complex ahead of the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.

The Man United team train with the Europa League ball (Photo: PA)

The Red Devils host Crystal Palace, but Mourinho has both eyes focused on his side’s trip to Stockholm on May 24 – a fact that was there for everyone to see from the pictures that emerged of the session.

Sure there were notable absentees from the squad, as Marouane Fellaini, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling all missed training, which will concern many fans.

The Red Devils squad warm up ahead of Crystal Palace (Photo: PA)

However, the fact that the players were all training with the same ball that will be used in the Europa League final says a lot for Mourinho’s way of thinking, as well as how is preparing his team for the match.

Following Friday’s session, the United manager spoke to the press, where he addressed the absent players.

Mourinho oversaw the training session on Friday (Photo: PA)

“Smalling has a problem, a small problem that I think it is no problem for next week, but is a problem of the weekend,” said Mourinho.

“Marouane is a question mark. We wait for today’s scans. Fosu-Mensah plays Sunday and if the reaction is good the he is a new option for the final.

David de Gea gets to grips with the Europa League ball (Photo: Man Utd via Getty Images)

“For the kids it will be a great experience to play in the Premier League in the last match of the season.

“It will be a big occasion but I think the best for the young player is in the middle of an experienced structure, where he can be supported.

The Portuguese is leaving no stone unturned in his quest for glory (Photo: PA)

“To play so many kids at the same time I don’t think it’s good because there is a big difference in quality strength and experience.”

“Lots of them together, no. I will bring three or four first team players to play one half where I can give some experience to the team.”

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