Manchester United go to Blackburn for a fifth-round tie on Sunday with a dozen top flight clubs – Liverpool and Everton among them – having already been knocked out of the competition after fielding weakened teams.
Jose Mourinho admits he has dismissed the cup once – in his first season in English football – but has always regretted it and suggests some managers do not take the competition seriously.
“Maybe we don’t have as many English managers with that culture as we should,” he said. “Maybe we foreign managers, not everybody studies and understands the culture of this country.
Jose Mourinho has demanded Premier League bosses to show the FA Cup respect
Manchester United beat Wigan in the last round of the FA Cup
“Normally upsets are because of attitude, because you think it’s easy and it’s not easy. Also, the lower league teams, they’re getting better and better.”
Mourinho recalled the time he fielded a weakened Chelsea team for a fifth-round tie at Newcastle in 2005 because they faced a midweek Champions League clash with Barcelona before the League Cup final with Liverpool the following weekend.
He added: “For me it was a lesson. I threw it away. I gambled too much. I focused too much on Barcelona and Liverpool. It was good, because we beat Barcelona [over two legs] and won the final against Liverpool. But the feeling that I threw it [the FA Cup] away wasn’t good.
Man United line-up predicted to face Blackburn
Fri, February 17, 2017
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Liverpool were knocked out by Wolves and were criticised for fielding a weakened side
“So I don’t throw it away. If I lose, I lose because the opponent was better or because we didn’t play well, but I’m not going to throw it away.
“I try always to go serious. I like Wembley, I like the FA Cup, so I have to try to win a second one. Am I going to pick the same team? No. I’m going to change a few players, obviously. But I’m going with a good team. I respect the competition a lot and Manchester United demands you go serious to every game.”
Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are all set to start at Ewood Park as United bid to stay on course for a cup treble.