Phil Jones: 'Europa League final defining moment for Manchester United'

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It's a competition this club should be in every season.

And not for its famous manager, whose first year at United would be widely viewed as a failure.

Commenting on the club's summer plans, United's executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, said: "The team has a good variety of games over the summer, playing in great stadiums and allowing a large number of our global family of fans to see live games across the world".

Given they did not win their domestic title, Liverpool will follow the League Route, which will be made up of nine other sides entering at the play-off round, as well as the 10 sides to have progressed from the Champions League third round of qualifiers.

For England's biggest club, it's time to deliver.

The Red Devils face Dutch giants Ajax knowing a win will give them another trophy and a place in next season's Champions League.

Manchester United face Ajax in the Europa League final on Wednesday night - but Jose Mourinho faces some big decisions with his injury-plagued team. "We didn't choose Europa League, we had to do it because if I have Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, if I have these guys, I can rotate".

And that's where United, a 20-time English champion and three-time victor of the European Cup, feels it belongs: on the game's biggest stage. The Europa League final, meanwhile, kicks off in Stockholm at 20:45CET on Wednesday.

Mourinho was hired a year ago to bring immediate success to United.

Two cups and Champions League qualification would amount to a successful first season at United.

Liverpool could be drawn against any one of the unseeded sides in the League Route.

Mata admits losing is not an option for Mourinho because he has never met anyone yet who hates being second best more than his United boss. Still, I feel I've had a good season. "I don't think the board feels like that".

Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford, Manchester, May 21.

On Monday, Manchester United and Ajax engaged in some Twitter "banter" ahead of Wednesday's final.

The game against Ajax will be United's 64th of the season.

Mourinho might also be weighed down by the enormity of the occasion.

"He studies the rivals a lot and he obviously watched so many Ajax matches, particularly the one against Lyon in the semi-final. Thinking only about Champions League is not enough".

Ninety minutes can change all that.

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