Herrera seeks air of calm as United face tests at Juve then City

Talking Points

Ander Herrera wants an air of calm to descend on the Manchester United ranks so Jose Mourinho’s men can relax and get in their rhythm more easily with a demanding week of football ahead of them.

Spanish ace Herrera surveyed the last-gasp win at AFC Bournemouth on Saturday and reflected on the hectic nature of the finish while eyeing upcoming games against Juventus and Manchester City in the days that follow.

United go to Turin on Wednesday for a Group E clash with the Italian giants and then face the small prospect of a keenly anticipated Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in the Premier League.

And Herrera, who won plaudits for his second-half sub display in the 2-1 top-flight victory (thanks to goals from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford) on the south coast, says although it was thrilling to snatch a win so late on, he prefers a less frantic approach.

He said:

“The feeling is fantastic but we want to win games more calmly, and don’t let the game go on until the last minute without winning the game. I think the second half was fantastic and I think that’s the way we have to face every game this season, with the ball, with confidence, trying to hurt them with all the offensive players moving and making it really difficult for them because we have some amazing offensive players. But we have to improve.”

And improve United will have to do with two huge games ahead and the importance of both of the encounters isn’t lost on the attacker. He added:

“If we want to win against Juventus and Man City, we cannot concede what we did in the first half at Bournemouth, even more with the team we have.

“When I see some players training or some players the way they played in the second half, Anthony, Jesse when he came in, Marcus Rashford, we have to win a lot of games with these players. So, let’s try to improve for the next game, from the first minute.

“We have to face the game the way we did after 30, 35 minutes because I think also for the last ten minutes of the first half, we played really well. But if we want to be in the top four soon, we have to do it from the first minute.”

Meanwhile, defender Chris Smalling says the importance of a good, strong start against Juve midweek is vital following the defeat at the hands of the Old Lady at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture. He added:

“Against Juventus we started a little in awe, we were off the pace and we weren’t really on the front foot. I think in the second half we showed that we could give them a game, that we could create chances.

“I think that we can take that second-half performance to Turin, we’ll be more on the front foot and you’ll see a better performance than you did in the first half.”