Jose Mourinho wants Manchester United to be more clinical in front of goal in order to kick-start their Premier League campaign this season.
United cruised to an impressive 4-0 Europa League win over Feyenoord on Thursday, with under-fire captain Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all on target to take them to the brink of the knockout phase.
But Mourinho’s men are sixth in England’s top flight, nine points behind leaders Chelsea, having suffered a frustrating run of home draws against Stoke City, Burnley and Arsenal.
“Against Stoke the goalkeeper won the man of the match, against Burnley the goalkeeper won the man of the match, against Arsenal Petr [Cech] was not the man of the match, but was not far from that,” he said.
“We need to put the ball in the net. We scored four, but we missed three or four chances. So I think it’s just that because that has also to be with confidence levels.
“We were winning 1-0 and were missing chances, we lost the ball in midfield and they got a direct free-kick 18 metres from the goal and I thought ‘1-1’.
“You have immediately negative feelings because we play so well and don’t score goals and don’t win matches. So what we need in the Premier League is exactly that, a match where you score goals.
“People like Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], like Rooney, whose happiness depends on the goals they score, they need that.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan shone in a starting berth against Feyenoord, having been largely excluded from Mourinho’s plans since a close-season switch from Borussia Dortmund, although the United boss was forced to field questions over Anthony Martial’s omission from the squad.
“He was okay for this game, it was just an option [not to pick him],” Mourinho added. “He played last Sunday, I cannot play with 12 players, I cannot use on the bench 19 or 20.
“You wanted to see Mkhitaryan, I wanted too. I cannot play all of them at the same time so it was just an option.
“Players have to win their positions. They are friends, they are colleagues, they work together every day, but at the end they compete between themselves to have more chances to play.
“Anthony played against Arsenal; this was the moment to give a chance to Mkhitaryan to start.”
United travel to London Stadium to face West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday.