Jose Mourinho has refused to be drawn into how far his Manchester United side can progress in this seasons Champions League, insisting that everyone is at risk of elimination.
Manchester United cruised through the Champions League group stages last time out, reaching the quarter-final stage. However, despite receiving a supposed favourable draw, they were dumped out of Europe’s top competition by Sevilla, who frustrated United at Old Trafford before hitting them with two sucker punch goals.
This time round, United have been handed a more difficult draw in the group stages, with Juventus, Valencia and Young Boys joining them in Group H, a draw which has left Mourinho to highlight Atletico Madrid’s early exit last season as a reason not to get carried away:
“I would focus on tomorrow, first match, and after that on the group phase, one of the most difficult group phases and we have two positions to qualify and our focus must be on that,” he said.
“By experience, when a team reaches the quarter-finals, then even the teams that are not favourites, when you arrive in the quarter-finals you smell the distance is not very far and every team starts thinking about it.
“But is too early. We had examples last season of candidates not going through the group phase,” he added.
“For example, when Atletico Madrid is knocked out in the group phase that is a very good example that everyone is at risk.”