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Mourinho sounds off on frozen pitch

Press Association logoPress Association 7/12/2016

Jose Mourinho does not believe UEFA should make teams play on frozen pitches like the one in Ukraine where Manchester United's Europa League fate will be sealed.

Zorya Luhansk are the opponents for United's Group A finale on Thursday, when a point will secure progress to the last 32.

The Ukrainian side are already out of the competition but restricted United to a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, playing on the kind of surface they can only dream of.

The Chornomorets Stadium pitch is frozen in places and patchy in others.

United defender Daley Blind said it was "like a rock" when going out to train.

The players' studs clacked on the surface that led Mourinho to question why European governing body UEFA allows final group matches to be played in countries where winter has hit so hard.

"The pitch is very hard, the pitch is very icy," the United boss said.

"Called off the game? I think UEFA know the conditions of the pitch and everybody knows that in mid-December the conditions in Ukraine and Eastern Europe are more difficult.

"So if UEFA was worried about it, they should change the fixtures and not allow the last fixtures to be played in mid-December.

"If the fifth fixture is the last fixture here, it would be the end of November and not mid-December, so I think that's the problem.

"I think the stadium is beautiful, it's new, it's well taken care of.

"The pitch is the same. They are trying, they are putting some warmth on the top of it, but the pitch is very difficult and people cannot make miracles. Let's hope everything goes well."

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