Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho concedes the Europa League is by no means their dream competition, but he still wants to win it
United failed to qualify for the Champions League following their fifth-place Premier League finish under Louis van Gaal last term, but Mourinho is adamant they will not treat the Europa League as an inferior competition.
"It is early to talk about winning this competition, but this is a big club and the next match is always important when you play for Manchester United," Mourinho said at a media conference ahead of their opening game against Feyenoord on Thursday.
"The Europa League isn't a competition United want to be in, it's not the big dream of every big player. But we want to win the competition. It is difficult to do it, but it is easier to feel it and to say it out loud. And that is the way we want to approach this competition.
"We come to respect the opponent, to respect the opposition. We come here to win the game. If you see what happened last season, against Midtjylland, you don't forget that as a fan. Maybe as a player but not the fans. We have to make sure we are not sleeping.
"I have brought a very good squad and I will play with a very good team. After a defeat, the best thing is to play.
"Everyone wants to be on the pitch Thursday. We have to look at it with respect. I think we want to do well in the competition and for a club of our dimension to do well is not to be out in the group phase."
United have also been paired with Zorya Luhansk and Fenerbahce in Group A.