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