Jose Mourinho cannot hide his anger about Rostov’s pitch in moody press conference

And just to compound the Manchester United manager's mood, the UEFA delegate told him not to worry because "your players are insured."

After the harsh Russian winter, the surface at the Olimp-2 stadium is threadbare, uneven and loose.

Mourinho compared it to the pitch in the national stadium in Beijing last summer when United's prestige friendly with neighbours City was cancelled at huge cost to the promoters.

He admits he is worried about injuries to his players and the conditions could influence the team he picks for tomorrow's Europa League last 16 first leg against the Russian club.

He said: “It's still hard for me to believe we are going to play tomorrow. I know we have to, but it is hard for me to believe we are going to play tomorrow in that field – if you can call it a field.

“And I don't know what team to play, really. I don't know if Henrikh Mkhitaryan (just back from a hamstring injury) is going to play.

“I don't know. I have now a lot to think because I was expecting something more playable in a vert similar pitch in the summer in China we and Manchester City decided not to play, but it looks like we have to play.

“I didn't have any contact with anyone until now [about the pitch]. I just had a quick contact with one gentleman from UEFA when I was looking at the pitch and when I told him about my concerns, the gentleman told me the players are insured, so if something happens, no problem.

“I don't know, I really don't know. I was analysing these very good opponents that we didn't speak about yet.

“In their previous matches against Bayern Munich, Ajax, Atletico Madrid, in all these matches it looked for me a very playable pitch and I was very surprised with what I found here today."

It is not the first time United have encountered a poor pitch in this season's Europe League. They played a hard, threadbare pitch in Odessa in early December but still beat Zorya Luhansk 2-0.

United trained in one corner of the pitch today but kept away from the more worn areas towards the middle.

Apart from the pitch, United are wary of opponents who have beaten Bayern Munich and Ajax at home in the Champions League earlier this season drew with PSV Eindhoven and lost narrowly to Atletico Madrid.

They have lost only once in their last 30 home games.

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