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Mourinho urges Mkhitaryan to earn his place in side

Football Soccer - Galatasaray v Manchester United - Pre Season Friendly - Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Sweden - 30/7/16 Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne/ Livepic/ Files
Football Soccer - Galatasaray v Manchester United - Pre Season Friendly - Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, Sweden - 30/7/16Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan in action Action Images via Reuters / Henry Browne/ Livepic/ Files

REUTERS - Midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan needs to put in more effort to move ahead of his rivals in the pecking order and prove he is worthy of a place in Manchester United's starting line-up, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

Mkhitaryan was expected to play an influential part in the club's bid to recapture its glory days after he joined in the close season following a highly-successful three-year stint with German side Borussia Dortmund.

The 27-year-old, however, has yet to convince Mourinho and has been restricted to a bit-part role for the team, making five of his six appearances this season from the bench.

"He (Mkhitaryan) has to do more, it's as simple as that," Mourinho told British media after United's 2-1 Europa League loss to Turkish side Fenerbahce on Thursday.

"We have big expectations at this club, lots of players for these positions, and he has to play better than (Juan) Mata, (Jesse) Lingard, (Anthony) Martial -- he has to play better than them. It's as simple as that.

"Every manager wants to win matches, every manager in the world wants to play the players that he thinks can help the team more, and I'm no different."

United, who are eighth in the Premier League, will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to face 19th-placed Swansea City on Sunday.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)

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