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Banana-eating Rojo is no joke for Mourinho

Press Association logoPress Association 17/03/2017

The sight of Marcos Rojo eating a banana during Manchester United's Europa League win against Rostov raised a smile - but Jose Mourinho insists it was no laughing matter.

A bloated, uneven fixture schedule has pushed some of United's players, and the manager, to the limits at a crunch time in the season.

Mourinho is well aware of the stresses on his players and some emergency nourishment was required by Rojo as Thursday's (Friday AEDT) crunch Europa League last-16 second leg with Rostov came to a close.

Substitute Ashley Young passed a banana to the Argentina international to give him some much-needed energy, which was needed as the Russians pushed hard to cancel out Juan Mata's goal.

"I don't know if you have been tired at any time in your life," Mourinho told broadcasters after the 1-0 win second-leg win.

"I was tired many times and I know what are the limits of the body and when the body needs anything... anything!

"The player asked for a banana and it is not to laugh at all, it is to respect the players and their limits. They gave absolutely everything."

An annoyed Mourinho was clearly unimpressed with the fixture schedule the Red Devils have endured recently.

"We have lots of enemies. Normally the enemies should be Rostov but we have a lot of enemies," Mourinho said after United won through to the Europa League last eight.

United had to play at Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals, then Rostov and next visit Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Sunday.

"It's difficult to play Monday with 10 men (after Ander Herrera was sent off at Chelsea), it's difficult to play now, it's difficult to play 12 o'clock on Sunday," Mourinho said.

"A lot of people might say we should have scored more goals (against Rostov). But a lot of things are going against us.

"The boys are amazing boys. We will probably lose the game on Sunday. Fatigue has a price."

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