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Jurgen Klopp improved my mental toughness: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The Armenian star spent two years with Klopp at German side Borussia Dortmund.

IANS | Manchester |

Manchester United winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan has credited current Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp for teaching him how to cope with the tougher times in his career. The Armenian star spent two years with Klopp at German side Borussia Dortmund after he was signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013.

"I'm thankful to him as he worked a lot on me — on my personality, on my psychology — because I was really very stressed after a few games that we played badly," he told BBC on Saturday.

"He showed me the way of what I have to do and how I have to do it. He was always supporting me, saying 'everyone makes mistakes but you don't have to bring your head down, you always have to keep your head up'."

The 28-year-old joined United from Dortmund last summer but endured a difficult spell under Jose Mourinho at the start.

"At the beginning, we had not like problems, but difficulties," Mkhitaryan said of Mourinho. 

"But then starting from November, we started winning. Day by day you understand what he expects from you and you're trying to do your best to be involved in training and in the game."

Mkhitaryan said he always used to wear a smile on his face during the harder days when he spent time on the bench in the hope of right time to come.

"Even when I wasn't playing, I had a smile on face because if I would be sad, if I would be mad, nothing would help me. That's why I was just being passionate, just waiting for the time. I was sure my time would come and I would have one more chance."

"If I was 23 or 24 when I came to Manchester, maybe I would have suffered, maybe I would have many problems as I would have taken things very seriously. If I wouldn't play, I would be sad or I would be mad, I wouldn't talk to my friends or family."

"Then I said to myself, 'this is life, if you smile to your life, your life will smile to you as well'. So, I just kept smiling, I just kept working and now I'm happy."