Manchester United news: Jose Mourinho says EFL Cup semi-final against Hull is bigger than Liverpool league clash

Mourinho will not rest his first-team regulars for the EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Hull

Jack de Menezes
Monday 09 January 2017 13:21
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Jose Mourinho is focusing on Manchester United's EFL Cup clash with Hull
Jose Mourinho is focusing on Manchester United's EFL Cup clash with Hull

Jose Mourinho believes that Tuesday’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Hull City represents a bigger occasion than Sunday’s hotly-anticipated Premier League visit of Liverpool, such is his desire to win silverware at Old Trafford.

United are potentially three games away from Mourinho’s first trophy since replacing Louis van Gaal as manager last summer, with the side preparing for their first of two legs against Hull and a potential final trip to Wembley should they emerge triumphant.

Given United’s clash with Liverpool is firmly on the horizon, Mourinho would be forgiven for resting his key players for Tuesday’s EFL Cup encounter, but after rotating his side for Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup victory over Reading he is happy to name his big guns in the starting line-up.

Furthermore, he believes that that the match is more important than the clash with Liverpool, because he has his eyes firmly set on lifting the trophy at Wembley when next month’s final takes place.

“Hull may look at the semi-final as a big occasion. Maybe for them, they have a more important game three days later in the Premier League,” said Mourinho. “Liverpool is a big match for us but we want to be in the final. We will face Hull with all the power we have. The second leg is away so if we can do something in the first leg to give us an advantage, we will try that.”

Mourinho’s record in the EFL Cup is better than all of his main rivals. Jürgen Klopp reached the final at the first time of asking last season, while both Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola saw their maiden league cup campaigns end in early elimination. Neither Arsene Wenger nor Mauricio Pochettino have won the trophy either, and Mourinho’s two previous successes with Chelsea demonstrates his track record for taking all competitions seriously.

“For big clubs, a competition is a competition. I was never good at choosing competitions. You get a very busy fixture list but you are in these competitions to try and win,” he added.

“I always felt it is a cup. I won it twice in Cardiff but at Wembley the meaning is better. Why not try.

“We are going to try. Hull have a new manager [Marco Silva], an intelligent guy who will organise his team for sure. We will try.”

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