Jose Mourinho has urged Manchester United attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan to take one more step and replicate his Europa League performance against Feyenoord in the Premier League. He started his second match for the Red Devils and was impressive in their 4-0 defeat in the European competition at Old Trafford.
The 27-year-old joined United from Borussia Dortmund last summer and his first start came in his side's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City in September. After struggling with injuries, he failed to cement a place in the squad and went on to make one substitute appearance against Fenerbahce in the second tier European competition.
Mourinho was disappointed with Mkhitaryan's performance after United's Europa League defeat in Turkey and advised him to do more in order to break into the team. In his first appearance after his manager's public criticism, the Armenian international showcased his skills against Feyenoord and the ex-Chelsea boss wants Mkhitaryan to continue his form to the Premier League.
"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," Mourinho explained, as quoted by ESPN.
"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."
Meanwhile, Mkhitaryan remains hopeful that his performance on Thursday could be a new beginning for him at Old Trafford. The former Bundesliga star admitted it was difficult for him to watch his side play from the sidelines, but claims he was determined to prove his worth at United.
"I hope so. Let's see," Mkhitaryan told United's official website, when asked if his display against Feyenoord could be a new beginning.
"It was very difficult to watch the team playing from the side, but you know you have to have passion, to work hard and try to take your next chance."