Jose Mourinho says there is nothing to be gained from Monday’s Manchester derby in Beijing except the health of his players.

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

The Manchester United manager held a press conference at the Bird’s Nest Stadium – where the pitch is very, very shoddy – and suggested that the result of the clash is utterly unimportant.

“The condition of my players is more important than the results in pre-season. I have only one goal from tomorrow’s match, take the players home safe,” said Mourinho.

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“We cannot just run away and disappear and not play, so we have to play and try to be lucky.

“Normally when we say lucky we say lucky because we want a good result. The result I want tomorrow is to go home without injuries.

“Manchester City have all of their players, we have six, seven or eight, which played in the Euros.

“What I want is to get back to Manchester and train with the full group.”

In reality, Mourinho is missing five players – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger – while Manchester City are missing Bacary Sagna, Eliaquim Mangala and Kevin De Bruyne.

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Asked why the club has come to China for pre-season, Mourinho said: “It’s good for the fans and for the commercial side of things. We have a good group, we have a good spirit and we cope with it. Tomorrow is the last day and then it is over.”


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