Mourinho praises Mkhitaryan after Europa League win

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has challenged Henrikh Mkhitaryan to produce in the Premier League as he did in the 4-0 Europa League defeat of Feyenoord on Thursday, ESPN FC reports.

Mourinho handed Mkhitaryan just his second start of the season, while leaving out Anthony Martial. Mkhitaryan’s previous start came in the 2-1 home defeat against Manchester City on Sept. 10.

The Armenian had only made one further appearance since then, as a sub in the 2-1 defeat at Fenerbahce on Nov. 3, before being selected to face Feyenoord.

Discussing Mkhitaryan’s display, Mourinho said: “He just needs now to try to replicate this kind of performance in the Premier League. The Premier League is different. He needs one more step.

“Obviously now the confidence level is higher. This performance gives him the right to believe that he can play the next match.

“The Premier League has more physicality, more aggression. He needs a bit more of that. But, with the quality, we know why we bought him. He has a high level of technical quality. He’s very intelligent, very bright, with how he reads the game.”

“The reception [from the fans] he deserved because he played very well. Always improving, improving, improving, improving until the moment he was really tired and I felt it was the right moment to take him off and to let him come off with a very good performance. It was important for his confidence and he will try to keep adapting and trying to replicate this kind of quality performance in the Premier League which is a competition with different difficulties,” Mourinho.

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