Before Celta Vigo's visit to Old Trafford for the semi-final second leg on Thursday, Mourinho said his decision to rest key players in the league was a result of those circumstances.
Michael Carrick tasted European success with Manchester United when winning the Champions League in 2008. He's certainly got the respect of the players and everyone in football because he's been so successful.
"I've had to keep working and try to take my chances when I get the opportunity. I try to do my best for the team".
"In terms of motivation we are even", said the Portuguese, who led Porto to glory in the UEFA Cup -- as the Europa League was formerly known -- in 2003.
This is, though, a period of transition in Rooney's career - something the skipper is all too aware of. I would like to play more but that's the way it's panned out.
"I haven't thrown my toys out of the pram".
"Whether Rooney is in the starting line-up on Thursday - or the squad next season - remains to be seen, although his desire to end the season with another trophy is clear".
Arsenal, who beat Manchester United 2-0 on Sunday, will need fourth-placed Manchester City (69 points, 35 games) or third-placed Liverpool (70 points, 36 games) to slip up in their remaining games if they are to secure a Champions League spot for next season. I was back doing what I like the most, and I'm really excited about being able to help the team as much as I can in the final sprint.
The money United stand to receive will diminish the impact of failing to play in this season's Champions League, but the earnings on offer in that competition continue to dwarf those in the Europa League.
To say at the end of the day "we are going to be in the Champions League".
The Europa League is the only major trophy that United hasn't won - and might be the last one captured by the club's captain, Wayne Rooney.
"We lost four players in one week, when we lost [Chris] Smalling and [Phil] Jones in the [England] national team and [Marcos] Rojo and Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] against Anderlecht" in the previous round of the Europa League.
Carrick, 35, is yet to agree a new contract at Old Trafford, and it is thought that the former England worldwide will depart the Red Devils on a free transfer at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.