Tuesday 6 December 2016 21:27, UK
Henrikh Mkhitaryan admits he expected to start more games for Manchester United this season but says it was not Jose Mourinho's fault.
The Armenian moved to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund in a £26.3m deal in the summer but was taken off at half-time in his first Premier League start against Manchester City in September and did not feature again in the league until late November.
Mourinho insisted the 27-year-old needed time to adapt to the intensity of England's top flight and Mkhitaryan says he understands why his manager kept him on the sidelines, but is now determined to keep his spot after starting in three of United's last four matches.
"There was no bad relation with him [Mourinho], it was always good but the problem wasn't him, it was me," he told Sky Sports News HQ.
"Now I understand why I have got my chance and I will keep it, I will hold it, because it is very important for me to play, to be a part of Manchester United.
"I was thinking that I would be here as a starting line-up player but when I arrived I saw that there were 25 players fighting for their place and I understood that it wasn't going to be easy.
"I had a bad game against Manchester City but that is in the past so I kept working. I have done a great job to get my chance back and I think I did it a really long way until I start playing."
Mkhitaryan has impressed in recent weeks and hopes his involvement in Mourinho's first-team plans represents a turning point in his Manchester United career.
"I hope so because it is really very important to play in every game, doing your best, because if you are not going to do your best then you are not going to play in the next game.
"The manager has a lot of choice, he has five or six players in that position but I know that playing now I know what I have done bad in the past and what good I can do in the future. So I know how I can help the team and I will be doing my best."