Jose Mourinho has revealed Henrikh Mkhitaryan will play in Manchester United’s Europa League clash with Feyenoord on Thursday after explaining the reasons why he left him out of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal.
The former Borussia Dortmund man, who has struggled for first-team action under Mourinho, watched United’s 1-1 draw with the Gunners on Saturday from the stands after failing to make the matchday 18.
The player has been working hard to impress Mourinho by training on his days off and the United boss admitted Mkhitaryan was not happy with the way things were going for him in the Premier League, but praised his reaction and backed him to come good.
Explaining his decision to exclude him in the 1-1 draw on Saturday, Mourinho said the “pressure” of the game would have been too much for the player.
“I told him…that he is going to be involved in the game against Feyenoord,” Mourinho told reporters in quotes also reported on the United website.
“He is trying. Obviously he is not happy, but he is transforming his frustration in a good way, which is to close the mouth, work hard and try to adapt.
“I told him, ‘This (Arsenal) was not the game for you’, because I don’t think he needs 10 or 20 minutes from the bench.
“I said, ‘I think you need a good game and you need to either start or, if not, to come for the second half’. He needs less pressure and better conditions for him to express his qualities.”
United go into Thursday’s clash with the Rotterdammers third in Group A and need victory to move ahead of their opponents ahead of the final pool clash with Zorya Luhansk.