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Mourinho tells winger to work harder at Man United

Mourinho wants to see more intensity from this man. Credit: PA

Henrikh Mkhitaryan still has work to do to force his way back into the Manchester United team.

The Armenian winger watched from the directors' box as United eased to a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday.

Mkhitaryan, a big-money summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, has not played since injuring his thigh more than a month ago.

Manager Jose Mourinho said ahead of the game that he was fit but, with competition for places intense in the forward positions, Mkhitaryan may have to wait for his chance.

Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial both scored against Fenerbahce while Juan Mata also impressed and all three will hope to keep their places for Sunday's key Premier League clash with Chelsea.

Mourinho said:

The situation is that we played with Lingard, with Mata and Martial. I am not an Einstein. I don't know a tactical system that can play with four wingers at the same time.

He has to work more to get the intensity and fitness to play at a high level. To have him on the bench and give him 15 or 20 minutes like I did to Memphis (Depay), I think it is much better for him to work and wait for his chance, but he is ready very soon.

– Man United manager Jose Mourinho


Webb: Man Utd manager should be sanctioned by FA

Webb believes the FA should sanction Mourinho for his comments. Credit: PA

Howard Webb believes Jose Mourinho should be sanctioned by the Football Association for mind games over the appointment of Anthony Taylor as the referee for Manchester United's draw at Liverpool.

United boss Mourinho has been asked to provide his observations to the FA by the close of business on Friday after responding to a question about Manchester-based Taylor's selection for the Anfield Premier League clash, which ended goalless. The FA will then consider its response, which is expected next week.

Managers, players and club officials have been prohibited from commenting on officials prior to a match since a new rule was introduced in 2009.

And Webb, the 2010 World Cup final referee, believes it is only right that that regulation is in place.

"The comments of Jose Mourinho before the game were not particularly inflammatory," Webb told Press Association Sport.

"It just adds oxygen to that debate, which is not helpful. He (Mourinho) knows that as well.

"Words sometimes can have an impact. That's why it's important that the FA are rigorous with their rules that managers who speak about referees before a game are sanctioned, even when it's said in a way that's less than inflammatory."

Leicester manager Ranieri has no plans to retire yet

Claudio Ranieri reached retirement age on Thursday but the Leicester boss has no plans to relax just yet.

Ranieri is still madly in love with football and Leicester City. Credit: Reuters

The affable Italian, now 65, has seen his career reinvigorated since his surprise appointment by the Foxes in July 2015, which came on the back of a disastrous spell in charge of Greece.

However, he and his Leicester squad defied odds of 5000/1 last season to deliver the Premier League title and Ranieri's team go into their home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday top of their Champions League group with three wins from as many matches in the competition.

Ranieri, who was recently rewarded with a new contract until 2020, admits he has assessed his future as a manager at times in the past but the former Chelsea boss plans to carry on what he is building at Leicester and hopes to go on until he is 70.

Asked if he planned to retire, he said:

No, why? Until I feel an old man, I keep going, I continue. As long as I enjoy and feel good. For me it is my life, my job. I want to continue for (a) long (time).

At 35 I said, 'At 50 I finish'. But then at 50 I said 'Why now? 55'. Then five by five, step by step. I am 65, now I continue until 70.

– Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri


Man City omission a 'wake up call' for Everton star

Koeman has suggested it's time for Ross Barkley to 'wake up'. Credit: Reuters

Everton manager Ronald Koeman says Ross Barkley's omission against Manchester City should act as a "wake up call".

Barkley, who has already lost his place in the England squad, was an unused substitute in what was arguably the Toffees' biggest game of the season to date at the Etihad Stadium.

Koeman's men took a creditable 1-1 draw against the Premier League leaders with a backs-to-the-wall performance that may not have made the best use of Barkley's attacking qualities.

But while there was a heavy hint that the 22-year-old would return at Burnley on Saturday, the Dutchman also indicated that he wanted more from the local favourite.

Asked how Barkley had reacted to his demotion, Koeman said:

He was okay, very disappointed but you need to be disappointed if you don't start. In my opinion it was the best line-up to have the best chance at Manchester City last week.

If I am not totally happy or it's a tactical question then he doesn't start. I still believe in his qualities but maybe its a good wake up call for him last weekend.

He is already playing four years in the first team. You are not any more 'a talent', that means you need to show more and improve. I understand if I get questions about him. If Rooney is not playing for (Manchester) United, the manager will get questions about Rooney.

– Everton manager Ronald Koeman

Sam Warburton ruled out of Challenge Cup clash

Warburton could enter Wales' autumn series without having played a game. Credit: PA

Sam Warburton could enter Wales' autumn series without having played a game since undergoing surgery to repair a fractured cheekbone sustained three weeks ago.

The Blues flanker will miss Friday night's Challenge Cup clash with Pau in Cardiff due to neck stiffness, leaving him short of match fitness ahead of captaining Wales against Australia on November 5.

Only one Guinness Pro 12 fixture remains before the Wallabies visit Principality Stadium - against the Scarlets on Friday week - and he is unlikely to be risked in that with four autumn internationals looming.

The British and Irish Lions skipper had a metal plate inserted into his cheekbone to repair the injury suffered against Leinster on October 1 and while the operation was a success, his comeback has been delayed.

A Blues statement read: "Sam Warburton was not considered for selection as a precaution after experiencing some residual stiffness in his neck, but has fully recovered from surgery on a fractured cheekbone."

Liverpool boss Klopp not taking West Brom lightly

Liverpool face West Brom this weekend. Credit: PA

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has vowed not to take West Brom lightly and refused to rule out further full-time celebrations if his side are held at home by the Baggies again.

Last year Tony Pulis' side claimed a 2-2 draw at Anfield, though the hosts only snatched a point thanks to a stoppage-time leveller from Divock Origi, and Klopp was so delighted he orchestrated on-pitch celebrations in front of the Kop.

Reacting in such a manner to a point against West Brom was derided by critics, yet Klopp insisted that was merely a consequence of his admiration for every team in the Premier League.

The Reds now have a run of league fixtures against West Brom, Crystal Palace and Watford, all of whom they dropped points to early in Klopp's tenure.

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"The differences between the Premier League and all the other leagues in world football is that (there are) big individual qualities in all of these teams," said Klopp. "I think we all know the reason for it and that's the big difference.

"Nobody will go through and have at the end 120 points or something because there are a lot of difficult hurdles to jump over and West Brom is for sure one of them. They fight for every point.

"I respect them all and I showed it last year when we played West Brom. I celebrated the point and it was a little bit surprising for most of the people but I was happy.

"I don't know in this moment if I would celebrate a draw again, it depends on the game we play on Saturday. Everything's possible."

Wasps number eight Hughes is committed to England

Nathan Hughes is in line for his Test debut during England's autumn internationals. Credit: PA

Nathan Hughes insists sacrificing a World Cup and building a new life halfway across the globe proves his commitment to England's cause after qualifying on residency.

Hughes has revealed he suffered some criticism after opting to represent England, rejecting the opportunity to go to World Cup 2015 with Fiji.

Wasps' Fiji-born number eight is in line for his Test debut during England's autumn internationals, with the 25-year-old bursting with pride to have made coach Eddie Jones' Elite Player Squad.

World Rugby could extend the three-year residency qualification period for a nation to select a player born abroad by two years - but Hughes has outlined the challenges of the current system.

"It wasn't easy. People said 'you're not from here, why do you want to play for England, you should be playing for your own country'," Hughes told Press Association Sport.

"But at the end of the day it's my decision and it's my choice, who I want to play for.

"I count this as home now. England is where I've played for more than three years and I'm comfortable in saying this is home.

"No disrespect, Fiji is always in my heart and my family will always be there. But this is where I play my rugby, this is my bread and butter, over here."

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