Thursday 13 December 2018

Ander Herrera - Criticism of Man United team-mates has not affected 'fantastic relationship' with Jose Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looks dejected
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho looks dejected

Phil Blanche

Ander Herrera insists he has a "fantastic relationship" with Jose Mourinho as he called on Manchester United to recover in the Premier League title race against Tottenham.

Spain midfielder Herrera angered United boss Mourinho with his comments after the shock defeat at Huddersfield last weekend, saying the Terriers had played with "more passion".

Mourinho put United's defeat in west Yorkshire down to a "really bad attitude" and said he could not explain Herrera's remarks.

But United returned to winning ways with a 2-0 Carabao Cup victory at Swansea on Tuesday night and Herrera was determined to silence talk of a rift between him and Mourinho.

"We have a fantastic relationship, but what I said was that in the first 30 minutes they had a better attitude than us," Herrera said.

"That's what happened. But after that we had a good attitude and we were even close to drawing the game, which is not so easy after playing bad the first 30 minutes.

"But now we want to forget what happened on Saturday.

"We want to move forward for a massive game against Tottenham and try to win.

"After the defeat at Huddersfield we needed good feelings back, because when you lose a game you want to play as quick as possible and play well."

Second-placed United go into Saturday's game at Old Trafford above Spurs on goal difference.

It is the start of a huge eight days for United who welcome Benfica in the Champions League on Tuesday before hosting Chelsea the following Sunday.

"It is a big week, but Tottenham is our target now," Herrera said.

"It is a tough game and Tottenham is a direct rival for the title.

"They are there every season. In the last two or three years they have improved a lot and they are contenders for everything; for the Champions League, for both cups and for the league.

"We saw the game they played with Real Madrid and they were not worse than them.

"So that means they are ready for anything."

The impressive nature of United's victory at Swansea - courtesy of Jesse Lingard's first brace for the club - was a timely boost given the performances since the last international break.

United had found little fluency in a goalless draw at Liverpool and a 1-0 win at Benfica before losing at Huddersfield.

But Herrera said: "You cannot play every game of the season at your best - you can't win 4-0 every game.

"It's true we didn't create too many chances at Liverpool, and in Benfica we controlled the match but also didn't create as many chances as we would like.

"But I think we have got some very good feelings back now and this is what we need to face Tottenham."

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