Things have gone awry in the Premier League, though, with a top-four finish already beyond them, meaning Champions League qualification rests squarely on beating Ajax next week.
United would net €3.5m (£3m) should they lose the game but the club would also take a hit under its sponsorship contract with Adidas that applies penalties for failing to reach the Champions League. "In all my career, in Europe, in the group stages I was never out, in the last 16 I was out only once", he added. I go always until the end of the competitions.
A place in the Champions League would normally provide 40-50 million pounds in revenues, against a figure of about 15-20 million pounds for playing in the lower profile Europa League, United's Chief Financial Officer Cliff Baty said.
United executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said: "We are forecasting better full-year financial performance than expected and as such have raised our revenue and profit guidance for the year".More news: Meghan Markle immediately whisked away to Kensington Palace after arriving in London
"I normally have a lot of matches, but like this I never have, I never have".
"I think it's unusual because someone asked me about speculation and all of the questions about how I will improve the club", Puel said.
"And I repeat the same - thank you Michael Oliver because we were out in the FA Cup, because if we go to the FA Cup semi-finals it would be a total disaster".
"But like this I never have".More news: Diego Simeone not giving up on Champions League semi-final
The statement also hinted that Mourinho may see fit to hand a number of youngsters a starting spot against the Saints after Axel Tuanzebe, Demi Mitchell and Scott McTominay were left out of the Under-23 side that beat Tottenham on Monday, while the Portuguese revealed that utility player Daley Blind will not feature at the St Mary's Stadium.
With Eric Bailly out through suspension, and Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruled out through injury, the return of the versatile Fosu-Mensah - who can play in defence or midfield - would be a welcome boost for United. I don't want to field a team where people think we aren't fighting for the result - we are fighting for the result.
"Guys that played 90 minutes I can not give a day off if I want them to play versus Southampton, they need two recovering days".
"Team spirit, empathy and the fantastic attitude that everybody has is not one more victory, one more point, one more defeat that is going to change something".More news: Home Depot raises outlook as housing market grows
Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Darmian; Fellaini, Herrera; Mkhitaryan, Mata, Martial; Rashford.
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