Jose Mourinho Asks Media to Not 'Kill' Him for Manchester United Team vs. Palace

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2017

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England on May 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has asked the press not to "kill" him for fielding a weakened or younger side against Crystal Palace on the final day of the Premier League season. 

The Red Devils manager hinted he would not be putting out his strongest XI on Sunday ahead of Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final, per the Guardian's David Hytner

"I hope you don't kill me when you see my team [against Palace]. I hope the fans at Old Trafford support the team, they forgive some naivety, they forgive some lack of confidence. And I hope that Big Sam [Allardyce] shows he's a good friend and he goes slow. He tells [Wilfried] Zaha to go slow, he leaves [Christian] Benteke at home. I hope he goes soft on us."

Mourinho confirmed some of his senior players would be involved to "bring stability," while Paul Pogba will return following the death of his father.

The Special One believes the match should be brought forward a day to help United's preparations for the Europa League final, with the Red Devils already confirmed to finish sixth whatever happens and the fight for survival already resolved, with the Eagles safe after beating Hull City last Sunday.

BT Sport commentator Ian Darke agreed with him:

However, Mourinho did not appeal to the Football Association because he believes it would have fallen on deaf ears.

United's first Premier League campaign under Mourinho has been one to forget.

ESPN's Alex Shaw hasn't been impressed:

The Red Devils have lost just five times—the same as champions Chelsea—but 15 draws have proved costly.

How successful Mourinho's first season at Old Trafford will be viewed largely hinges on whether they beat Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday.

A victory means he will have won two major trophies and qualified for the UEFA Champions League, making the team's sixth-placed finish much less of a problem. Losing would mean another campaign in the Europa League and only the EFL Cup in terms of silverware.

As such, it would be understandable if Mourinho fields a weakened team on Sunday, particularly given the injuries United have had to deal with in recent weeks.

For those who do play against Palace, a good performance could put them in contention for a place in the squad for the game against Ajax.