The Red Devils open their group stage campaign away to Feyenoord on Thursday night with Mourinho seemingly lacking an enormous amount of motivation for Europe's second tier club competition.
The Portuguese acknowledges that the Europa League is not something United strive for but insists the club will do their absolute best to perform on the continental stage this campaign.
"It is not a competition that Man United wants. It is not one I want or the players want but it is a competition where we are and that is the reality," he said.
"We have to respect the competition. We want to do well and for a club of our dimension it is not to be out of the competition in the group stage.
"I think you can see by our selection that we come to respect our opponent and we come to win the game. We want to win the competition.
"We must find the motivation I have found myself already. I have passed that motivation to the players because I know that the Europa League is not the big dream of every big player but you are not in the Champions League and you have to find your motivation in the competition where you are.
"It is too early to think about winning it. But the next match is always an important match when you play for Man Utd. I think the players must realise that."