Manchester United not giving up on Premier League, insists Mkhitaryan

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan has insisted that Manchester United are not yet willing to abandon hope in their Premier League campaign.

Jose Mourinho's side are 13 points behind leaders Chelsea after only 14 matches and nine adrift of fourth-placed City, having won only two of their last nine games in the competition.

Mkhitaryan, however, says United are not willing to divert their focus away from the top flight in favour of their campaigns in the Europa League, the EFL Cup and the FA Cup.

"We didn't give up yet in the Premier League," he told a news conference ahead of United's clash with Zorya on Thursday. "We're not yet saying we're out of the competition.

"We are still in the competition, there are a lot of games to go, so we are trying to do our best to be in the top four. 

"In Europe we're going to try and go as far as we can. I feel that everybody is good with the conditions because we come here to win, we don't want to lose this game. We want to do our best."

Mkhitaryan has started three of United's last four matches after having been dropped by Mourinho following a poor performance in the Manchester derby defeat in September.

The Armenia international was given a standing ovation at Old Trafford in United's 4-1 win over West Ham in the EFL Cup quarter-final last week, in which he set up goals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial, and he believes he has finally proven his quality to the fans.

"I don't want to talk about it because it's in the past," he said of the difficult seven-and-a-half-week spell in which he failed to make an appearance. "I start playing so I'm positive, I think positive.

"I'm glad to have more playing time because it's something that's not predictable. I want to say that you have to be ready for every situation. I was ready and I showed that I'm a top-level player and it doesn't matter if I play or not. I'm always going to help the team."

He added of Mourinho: "We have spoken a lot. First, when I came here, he told me what I had to improve; he saw what I improved in that time."

United need a draw in Odessa to guarantee their place in the last 32 of the Europa League, though they could qualify with a defeat if Feyenoord fail to beat Fenerbahce.

Mkhitaryan himself is relishing the chance to play at Chornomorets Stadium, given that he scored a hat-trick on his last visit to the ground with Shakhtar Donetsk in 2012.

"It's always a pleasure to be here in Ukraine," he said. "I had four amazing years playing in Ukraine and I can say in my last game in Odessa was a very good one because I scored my first hat-trick ever for Shakhtar, so I can say that I am pleased to be here again."