Speaking after Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane - the last game played at the historic ground - Mourinho admitted to reporters that finishing in the top four was no longer priority.
We know that if we lose the final we won't play in the Champions League next season.
"I am not upset because we had to make that decision. [Daley] Blind had to play 90 minutes but the next match is for Blind to rest and we have to go like this, step by step, to rest people", Mourinho said after the loss against Tottenham in the final game at White Hart Lane, as quoted on United's official site. We had to do it.
"A final is a final and I played Ajax with Real Madrid all the six matches". It's as simple as that.
The "Special One" has played Sergio Romero in nearly all their Europa League games this season and the Argentine has been selected by Jose Mourinho to man the post in the finals. So it was not a choice.
"But to finish the season with four matches away from home - Arsenal, Tottenham, Man City". "If you were fighting for the title, what a way to fight for the title", Mourinho said. There's a fine line, against Chelsea [on Friday] we had one or two chances but sometimes you need to create more to get a result. "You cannot play against Arsenal, you can't play against Man City or Southampton and play four or five kids". "We're disappointed after losing out on the title again".
Mourinho says he already has an idea of the team he would like to align against Ajax and he must now strike a balance between resting his key players and making sure they are fit and firing for the trip to Sweden.
Manchester United are set to finish another Premier League season outside the top four. We know if we lose the final, we don't play Champions League.
United have marked Mourinho's first year at Old Trafford by winning the EFL Cup, but the club have missed out on a top-four spot for the third time in four years.
"We put players back in the right positions". And if it doesn't happen, there are still two league games ahead in which Mourinho might decide to give his young American full back a run with the first team.
After the game, Mourinho was pretty bitter about his Manchester United squad, which lest we forget is the most expensive ever assembled in football history.
With two games remaining, sixth-place United is 15 points behind Tottenham despite vastly outspending the north London club. "Even in the youth cup I remember scoring here, so good memories at White Hart Lane".