Ander Herrera hopes Manchester United's "very bad week" was just a blip
Ander Herrera hopes Manchester United's "very bad week" was just a blip after ending a miserable run with a timely victory at Northampton.
Jose Mourinho's arrival along with some big-name signings increased the excitement around Old Trafford, with expectation growing after Community Shield success was followed by three straight Premier League victories.
However, the United manager's winning start came to an abrupt halt after the international break as the home defeat to rivals Manchester City was compounded by losses at Feyenoord and Watford.
United avoided the ignominy of a fourth straight defeat and exiting the EFL Cup to lower-league opposition on Wednesday, with Michael Carrick, Herrera and Marcus Rashford securing a 3-1 return to winning ways at Northampton.
A mouth-watering clash with Pep Guardiola's City now awaits in the fourth round, but Herrera is more interested in the positive impact Wednesday's win can have for reigning champions Leicester's visit at the weekend.
"When you play these kind of games, people don't realise how difficult it is," the Spanish midfielder said of facing Northampton.
"Now we are going to think about keep winning games. We want to think it was a very bad week and now we can face Leicester in a different way, more positive.
"Hopefully we can win and we can keep being in the high (parts) of the table."
Herrera was one of the nine United changes at Sixfields and staked his claim for a regular starting berth with a solid display, striking the post from distance before finding the net with a thunderous effort.
"I try to shoot when I can play, when I can help the team," he told beIN SPORTS.
"I could score another goal before but I am very happy because when you score you can help the team more.
"I know my role, I know what I can give to the team, but as a midfielder when you score of course you are helping more the team.
"We know we have controlled the game and when you control the game, that's when midfielders control the ball, control the game as well.
"We tried to play as quick as possible, one, two touches, I think the team needed that today because they were going to press a lot.
"We were not going to be able to drive too much the ball, so great victory and now we are facing in the next round Man City so it's very good for everyone.
"We still have, I think, six or seven games before that, so we will have time to think about it.
"But we have another chance to play against a top team and show what we are able to do.
"Overall, in front of our fans we couldn't win the last game against them so we have another chance."
Making the fourth round was not as straightforward as the full-time score suggests as Northampton went into half-time level after Alex Revell netted from the spot.
The striker was frustrated not to have caused an upset, especially having felt all the visitors' goals were avoidable, but knows they must now focus on Saturday's League One clash with Southend - a match the 33-year-old believes could be even harder than facing United.
"This game was built up and it has been brilliant for everyone involved in the football club, but now we're back to what is our bread and butter," Revell said.
"We have to get ready, forget about this and get ready for probably a tougher game on Saturday, to be honest with you.
"We're all disappointed because I think we were in the game, but they've come, it's one of the biggest teams in the world and we haven't disgraced ourselves.
"3-1, they've had to bring on their best players in the end to make it comfortable, so that is a positive."