Spain international Ander Herrera has indicated that Manchester United are not thinking about the top four yet despite accumulating four straight Premier League wins on the bounce. The Red Devils appeared to be distancing themselves from the top four during the midway stage of December but the club’s decision to part ways with Jose Mourinho has paid dividends with them going on a four-match winning streak.
Speaking to Press Association, Herrera highlighted the improvement made in terms of the points to the top four while insisting that the team are not looking too far into the future, he said: “When I saw we were maybe 12 points behind, I decided not to think about it, go game-by-game and that’s what we did. That’s what I did at least, and things are going well, so I don’t want to change. I am not going to think about that.
Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira has revealed his ambition of earning regular gametime with Manchester United after featuring during their recent 2-1 Champions League defeat at Valencia. The 22-year-old has endured a tough season under Jose Mourinho where he has been left out of the matchday squad on numerous occasions but he managed to earn a rare opportunity against Los Che in midweek.
Speaking after the game, Pereira said that he is hungry for more chances from the starting XI despite not producing the best of performances at the Mestalla, he told MUTV: “I'm hungry for more. I'm trying to do my best, to keep being involved in and out, each and every week. It was good for me to be involved, to get some minutes. It was difficult at the start because of the match rhythm, but I did my best. It was, unluckily, not our night tonight [Wednesday]. [I was] a little bit rusty but, after a few minutes,
it went better and better. I think each game would get better and better.”
Premier League side Everton are reportedly prepared to make a fresh attempt to acquire the signature of Marcos Rojo from Manchester United in the New Year. The Argentina international had been heavily tipped to leave the Red Devils during the summer but a minor knee injury following the World Cup appeared to hamper his prospects of finding a new challenge.
Rojo has since returned to first-team training after recovering from yet another knee problem sustained but he seems far off from Jose Mourinho’s plans, having yet to feature for the Red Devils in any competition this term. Amidst this, Wolverhampton Wanderers have recently been fancied to make a winter approach for the former Sporting man but according to The Mirror, they could face potential competition from Marco Silva’s side.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has spoken about the struggles experienced by Alexis Sanchez since joining the Red Devils at the start of 2018. The Chile international could not make a meaningful impact during the backend of the previous campaign as he struggled to adapt to the club’s style of play, but he showed signs of overcoming the difficulty during the pre-season tour of the United States.
However, with the 2018/19 season having begun, Sanchez has once more gone through the same trend and speaking to Sky Sports News, Mourinho has suggested that injuries have somewhat hampered the Chilean’s progress with the club, he said: “He arrived January, in the first period of the season for him. I don’t think is ever an easy situation for a player but this season he had a good start a good pre-season, he started well against Leicester, and then he was injured. Then he came back and was injured again and he is the kind of player that needs to be really sharp.”
Derby County manager Frank Lampard has admitted that he is pleased about Jose Mourinho guiding Manchester United to a much-needed triumph over Newcastle United and he is hopeful that the players can produce a similar performance on a weekly basis. The Portuguese tactician had come under fire after United went winless for four matches on the bounce but they came back in style with a dramatic 3-2 comeback triumph after being 2-0 down at one stage.
Speaking in a news conference, Lampard was personally content with Mourinho ending United’s lean patch and believes the players must stand up for the head coach in the forthcoming games, he said: “For Jose Mourinho, being a manager myself now, I know how tough it is when things aren’t quite going right. (The result against Newcastle) was a massive win, which I was personally very happy with for him, and now it’s down to the players. The players have to perform at the level they did in the second half against Newcastle every week.”
Spain manager Luis Enrique has heaped praise on goalkeeper David de Gea after he starred during the Nations League triumph over England on Friday night. The Manchester United shot-stopper had received stick from the country’s supporters after his average showing during the recent World Cup but he managed to make amends with a confidence performance against the Three Lions.
De Gea was called on to make a number of saves during the course of the game but the most influential of the lot came from a Marcus Rashford from the point-blank range. As such, Enrique was appreciative of the efforts of the United number one, who came through the fixture without making a single error of judgement.
Former England manager Sam Allardyce has been critical of midfielder Paul Pogba after he failed to show up during Manchester United’s shock 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur. The France international started the campaign with a man of the match showing versus Leicester City but he has since looked off-peak with his performance.
Speaking on TalkSPORT, Allardyce was defensive of under-fire manager Jose Mourinho and suggested that United were the dominant side despite the result. However, he did not have any sympathy for Pogba, who struggled to gain control over the likes of Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier in the centre of the park.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that goalkeeper Joel Pereira will be sent out on loan for the 2018/19 campaign. The Portuguese footballer has barely featured for the Red Devils being their third-choice goalkeeper and Mourinho has now indicated that the shot-stopper would be loaned out with Lee Grant coming in to take up his position.
Speaking in a press conference in Los Angeles, he said: “We did Lee Grant because we have a fantastic young goalkeeper (Joel Pereira) who needs to play football. Joel is a Manchester United goalkeeper but, two years without football, he has to play. And to protect that position we got Lee with experience in Championship and Stoke City in the Premier League, so he is ready to fulfil that position. Joel is here with us. It’s good for him to play but then he will go on loan.”
Former West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic believes Marcus Rashford should stay put at Manchester United and prove himself rather than pursuing a fresh challenge elsewhere. The England international has been linked with a potential exit from Old Trafford in recent months after receiving limited gametime under Jose Mourinho.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Bilic stressed that Rashford has played more games than most younger players at the same age and he should concentrate on getting better than pondering over an exit, he said: "We had a small talk about whether he should leave Manchester United. And I said 'no way, you are not leaving United at that age and you are playing.' He doesn't start every game, but he has been involved in every competition – maybe he even played too many games. He is playing under Mourinho for the biggest clubs in the world – why would you leave? Prove yourself there."
Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Ian Wright believes Jose Mourinho has damaged the confidence of Marcus Rashford during the recently concluded campaign. The England international made a strong start to the 2017/18 season with nine goals and seven assists by mid-December but he thereafter struggled to command a regular spot.
Rashford had sustained a minor injury during the festive period and shortly after his return, he was forced to settle for a substitute role. Ultimately, the 20-year-old managed just nine starts in the second half of the campaign and this appeared to have seeped through his confidence after his relative no-show in the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea.