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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho launches Euro final broadside

'Ajax shouldn't be in competition' and United critics branded 'liars'

By Ian Herbert

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has provoked controversy ahead of next Wednesday's Europa League final against Ajax by claiming that the Dutch side should not even be in the competition.

Mourinho said that Peter Bosz's side should have been eliminated from European football entirely this season, once they were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage.

"They are a Champions League team," Mourinho (below) said. "I think a European team shouldn't play two European competitions in the same season. I think if a team doesn't qualify for the Champions League they should go home.

"We finished fifth we went to the Europa League. We started the Europa League from the start of the season and we had to fight."

The Portuguese described his club's workload as "unbelievable" and said that any who overlooked the fact in an analysis of the disappointing Premier League campaign were 'liars.'

"I know some people like to lie. I think they are paid not to lie, they are paid to be honest to speak the knowledge," he said.

"Some of them lie and the reality is since January we've played 37 matches and in the Premier League [campaign] there are 38. We've played a complete Premier League minus one match in five months. We've done what a team does in a year in five months."

Asked if the workload and injuries might be counter-productive, giving the players an excuse for negativity, Mourinho insisted not. "No chance," he said. "On Tuesday when we put a foot in the plane we think about one thing."

Mourinho didn't look enthused about the final and, when pressed by Dutch journalists, said he could think of nothing more than the Palace game.

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