Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described his team’s hectic fixture list as a “poisoned gift”.
Mourinho’s men are set for a busy run after the international break, with five matches in 13 days.
And the former Chelsea boss, whose team beat Zorya 1-0 in the Europa League on Thursday, has hit out at the schedule, singling out his side’s clash with Liverpool on Monday October 17 for particular scrutiny.
“Well, we could play Liverpool on the Saturday, we could play Liverpool on the Sunday, but we play Liverpool on the Monday [October 17],” Mourinho said.
“So maybe we don’t have the best conditions especially because we play against two top Premier League teams that don’t play in European competitions.
“We have this kind of poisoned gift of playing on the Monday that creates a very difficult situation, but we want to try to qualify for the next round.
“It’s a long time to go, almost a month, but we want to try so we play against Fenerbahce with a team with the possibility to beat Fenerbahce.”
United sit third in Group A after their win, a point behind leaders Fenerbahce and level with Feyenoord.
Mourinho feels there is little he can do about the fixtures, saying: “I think it’s impossible. The poisoned gift is already there.
“So what can we do? We have to just play on Monday and then Thursday and then Stamford Bridge on the Sunday.
“But before that we have Stoke, so let us concentrate on Stoke.”