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Published: 11:51 | 30/9/16

Mourinho rues tough fixture schedule

Crucial games coming up

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has called his side's upcoming fixture schedule 'a poisoned gift' as they prepare for some big games over the next few weeks.

Speaking after watching his side struggle to put away Ukranian side Zorya Luhansk's in a low quality Europa League clash at Old Trafford, the Portuguese admitted that they faced some difficult games but said that his side would try very hard to win them all.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 69th minute header gave United a narrow 1-0 win to kick-start their European campaign following the opening round defeat to Feyenoord.

They host Turkish side Fenerbahce in three weeks time, a game bookended by a trip to Liverpool on the previous Monday and a first return to Stamford Bridge on the following Sunday.

"Well, we could play Liverpool on the Saturday, we could play Liverpool on the Sunday," the United manager said. "We play Liverpool on the Monday.

"So maybe we don't have the best conditions, especially because we play against two top Premier League games that don't play in European competitions.

"We had this kind of poisoned gift of playing on the Monday. That creates a very difficult situation, but we want to try and qualify for the next round. We want to try.

"(There is a) long time to go, almost a month, but we want to try, so we will play against Fenerbahce with a team with possibilities to beat Fenerbahce."

Asked if he thought the Liverpool game might be moved back a day to accommodate his side, he said: "I think it is impossible. The poisoned gift is already there, so what can you do?

"We just have to play Monday, and then Thursday, and then Stamford Bridge on the Sunday.

"But before that we have Stoke (this Sunday), so let us concentrate on Stoke because it is another poisoned gift because Stoke is not what the table says.

"The manager is very good, the players are good, the team is good, so when I look to the table, that's not Stoke's position.

"I play against a good Stoke and not the Stoke is in that position in the table."

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