FA Cup holders Manchester United will not be taking Sunday’s fifth-round clash against second-tier Blackburn Rovers lightly despite their heavy fixture schedule, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
In 2005, Mourinho’s Chelsea were knocked out of the FA Cup by Newcastle United in the same week as wins in the League Cup final over Liverpool and Champions League against Barcelona.
“Yes, I threw it away. In the same week was Champions League against Barcelona and the cup final against Liverpool and in the middle of it we had FA Cup against Newcastle and I threw it away, I gambled too much,” Mourinho told reporters.
Mourinho, whose side beat St Etienne 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday, will resist the temptation to make wholesale changes for the game at Ewood Park as he tries to navigate through a hectic run of fixtures.
“I focused too much on Barcelona and Liverpool. It was good because we beat Barcelona and won the final against Liverpool. But the feeling that I threw it away was not good,” the Portuguese added.
“So I don’t throw it away. If I lose, I lose because the opponent was better,” Mourinho said.
United play the second leg against St Etienne on Wednesday before facing Southampton in the League Cup final on Sunday when Mourinho will be bidding to win his first major trophy at the club.
“I am not going to throw it away,” he said. “We go to Blackburn with that respect… So I go serious. I’m going with a good team and I respect the competition a lot.”