Herrera demands reaction as United face key run of games

Ander Herrera believes Manchester United must put down a clear marker against Liverpool and Chelsea after a stuttering start to the season.

Published: 04th October 2016 09:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th October 2016 09:16 AM   |  A+A-


Manchester United's Ander Herrera | AP Photo

By The Daily Telegraph

Ander Herrera believes Manchester United must put down a clear marker against Liverpool and Chelsea after a stuttering start to the season but claimed it is far too early to be fretting about their league position.
United were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home by Stoke City on Sunday after spurning a plethora of chances and have now taken just four points from the past 12 available in the Premier League ahead of a daunting run of fixtures.
Jose Mourinho's side travel to Anfield and Stamford Bridge in successive league games after the international break, either side of a Europa League tie at home to Fenerbahce, as they attempt to gain ground at the top of the table.
United are sixth, five points adrift of leaders Manchester City, four behind Tottenham, and three adrift of Liverpool and Arsenal.
Chelsea's win over Hull City at the weekend means they are level on points with United.
But while Herrera believes it is imperative United show an immediate reaction against Liverpool and Chelsea and avoid a repeat of their poor displays after the last international break, when they lost to Manchester City, Feyenoord and Watford, he is adamant that there will be so many twists and turns in the title race that no one should be obsessing about the league standings at this stage.
"After the last international break we lost three games in a row so we have to avoid that," the midfielder said. "We have to come back very strong. We have to play two very tough Premier Leagues games away at Liverpool and Chelsea and between them Fenerbahce in the Europa League. That is a very important game as well." 
Asked if United could afford to lose more ground in the games against Liverpool and Chelsea, Herrera said: "You never know. When I was in Spain, I remember United being eight points ahead of City with only six games left [in 2011/12] but they still lost that title.
"So in the Premier League, anything can happen whether you are in front or behind the opponent. Against Stoke we are very sad because we should clearly have won this game. These are the kind of games we shouldn't draw at home because we played fantastic."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrated his 35th birthday yesterday and Herrera believes the striker plays like he is six or seven years younger and sets the standard in the Old Trafford dressing room.
"He's unbelievable," Herrera said. "If you didn't know Zlatan's age you could think he was only 28 or 29.
"He is very aggressive and demanding but in a good way because every day he wants to win every training session and he wants everyone with him to win, to keep working so we are very lucky to have Zlatan with us." 
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is expected to miss Armenia's World Cup qualifiers against Romania and Poland after United requested his withdrawal from international duty. 
The Armenia captain has been out of action since injuring a thigh muscle last month. 


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