Jose Mourinho has worked 'harder than ever' at Man United
15 May, 2017, 19:37
The Portuguese has instead banked everything on Europa League glory, which would offer a route into the Champions League.
Mourinho, 54, became the first manager in United history to win a major trophy in his first season when he claimed the EFL Cup in February. "Because of my respect for [Tottenham], I didn't rest more people", said Mourinho, whose side visit Southampton on Wednesday.
Jose Mourinho admitted Manchester United defender Eric Bailly had been naive to allow himself to be baited into the red card against Celta Vigo that rules him out of the Europa League final. So if we can win a third title, or as you like to say, a second title, if we can do that it would be magnificent for us.
"In the end, when the game was hard, when they were better than us and we were in trouble and not playing well, it was that mentality, that desire, that togetherness that made the boys fight until the end", he said.
Following the win, four-time European champions Ajax will meet three-time continental champions United in the May 24 final in Stockholm.
Mourinho hit back at those who said he gambled on the Europa League, and put all their eggs in one basket.
United have not shot up the league under Mourinho but the performances have boosted fans worn down by his predecessor Louis van Gaal's prosaic style and starved of the success they had grown used to under Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, he will not go overboard and field a team of youngsters - as he wants to ensure his players are good enough to provide some competition.
"When people say we gamble, we didn't gamble, we didn't choose the Europa League - we had to do it".
The only glimmer of positivity was that Manchester United finally scored in an away game against a top six rival, for the first time this season. And nobody can blame us, because we have a final three days later'.
"I am not upset because we had to make that decision". It is impossible. We never had one occasion to rest, not even to train properly, so it was not a choice. I always saw them supporting each other.