Herrera offers thoughts on losing United starting spot

Date published: Monday 11th September 2017 8:50

Ander Herrera has struggled for game time at the start of the season, but Manchester United’s reigning player of the year only cares about the greater good ahead of their Champions League return.

An impressive third campaign at Old Trafford led the 28-year-old to be named by Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year by the club’s fans last term.

Herrera was a consistently impressive presence in United’s midfield, but the summer arrival of Nemanja Matic meant it was not until this weekend that he made his first Premier League start.

The Spaniard was frustrated not to win Saturday evening’s trip to Stoke, but the lack of minutes before the 2-2 draw has not grated anywhere near as much on the midfielder.

“I am always ready to play,” Herrera said. “I always say the same.

“I am a team player and when the manager needs me I will be there and that’s it. In football there are no surprises.”

Herrera will be hoping to retain his starting place when United this week line-up for their first Champions League match in 644 days.

Europa League glory secured Jose Mourinho’s men safe passage back to the continent’s top table, which kicks off at home to Basel on Tuesday.

“We are ready but we have to respect every opponent and realise where we have come from,” Herrera said.

“We are a big club and maybe the biggest in the world, but we were not in the Champions League last season and we have to take it step by step.

“First aim we have is Basel. We cannot think of winning the Champions League now, we have to take it one step at a time.

“We should be in the Champions League.

“Even without the Champions League we are the club with more fans than anybody in the world, with the biggest amount of sponsors in the world, but being in the Champions League is basic for us, that is why the game against Ajax was the game of our lives. It was certainly the game of my career.

“We want to fight for every title. Last season we won three which wasn’t bad for the club, but we did not fight for the Premier League and we were not in the Champions League, so we have to be humble and take it step by step.

“It is amazing to be back in it. Every game is amazing for Manchester United for me but the Champions League is the most beautiful competition apart from the Premier League.”

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