Herrera ‘feeling good’ under new boss Mourinho
Ander Herrera has credited Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Manchester United with the fact that he has finally been recognised by his country.
Herrera have been called up to the senior team for the first time since the London Olympics.
He told El Correo: “It’s been difficult to get back because this is the fifth season since the Olympics. I’m overjoyed because I have fought hard for it. I know that in the two years under [Louis] van Gaal I was not in the United team enough to be called up. Now with Mourinho I’m feeling good. He is putting faith in me and giving me that chance to play regularly in a top side. Now I have to show that I deserve to stay in the United XI and deserve to keep getting the call to join the Spain squad.”
Herrera suffered more than most in two miserable seasons under Van Gaal but he says Mourinho has taken the shackles off team’s more attacking players.
Asked about the hopes in the Spain camp that he can offer goals with shots from distance (something that has been lacking since the departure of Xavi and Xabi Alonso) Herrera said: “Mourinho encourages me to do it. I scored recently in the cup and I have hit the post from long-range too. Mourinho gives you more freedom as a player; he wants the player’s instinct to come through. It’s true that you then have to have that defensive order but he tells us to let that if that instinct guides us on the pitch then we should try things.
Those orders contrast with the Van Gaal seasons when there were tales from Carrington that Angel di Maria was told not to dribble and others had to put pre-rehearsed team strategies ahead of situations that occurred during games.
Herrera has been drafted into the Spain squad for his attacking midfield qualities but it’s in a more defensive role that he is settling into Mourinho’s plans.
Manchester United midfielder ANder Herrera.