Manchester United have advanced to the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time since the 2013/14 season, and ahead of their two-legged tie in 2018 Jose Mourinho has a message for any potential opponents.
The Old Trafford club’s 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night confirmed United’s top place finish in their group, which, in theory, means the north-west club should receive a more favourable draw than Basel who finished three points behind United in second.
Speaking (via the BBC) after his side’s victory, however, Mourinho was all too aware of the unlucky hands he’s been dealt from these draws before.
“I think it does not matter which team we get in the draw. I am not the luckiest guy with draws so it is better I shut up and forget it because we only play in February. Until then I have to concentrate on the English competitions.”
While the former Porto boss was not willing to speculate further on the draw, he did provide the caveat that any side which comes out of the other side will not fancy taking on the 20-time English champions.
“I think that teams will not be jumping with happiness to play against us. I don’t think so.
“I am really happy because we don’t want to qualify with a defeat and we don’t want to qualify with a bad performance so the objective was to qualify playing well.”
Ahead of the draw, United have plenty of games to focus on domestically, the first of which is a potentially defining moment in the title race with table-toppers Manchester City the visitors to Old Trafford on Sunday evening.
Following this Mourinho’s men have a healthy run of winnable fixtures on paper right up until the end of January when they will face Tottenham. Ahead of that game their toughest games are arguably a pair of clashes against an in-form Burnley.