Manchester United suffered a comprehensive 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in their second match of pre-season in Shanghai on Friday afternoon, but Ander Herrera wasn’t too downbeat after the final whistle.
The Spaniard can see signs of progress already under the team’s new manager, Jose Mourinho, and is pleased the Portuguese coach isn’t obsessed with keeping possession for the sake of it.
In a post-match interview with MUTV, Herrera couldn’t help but make a thinly-veiled dig at the negative tactics of Mourinho’s predecessor, Louis van Gaal.
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"We know what we have to do. One of the things we have realised already is every player is very clear what they have to do,” the midfielder was quoted as saying by The Sun.
“We want to have the ball but not JUST to have the ball. We want to actually attack.
“We want to be offensive minded but we want to be compact as well, to get the ball to attack, create as many chances as possible.
“We know what we have to do -be offensive and finish the chances. I think we are going to see a very offensive Man United, but a compact team as well."
Video: Herrera takes a dig at Van Gaal's tactics
United fans grew fed up with Van Gaal's tactics
Van Gaal’s tactics were heavily criticised by United fans, and some of the club’s former players, who grew increasingly weary of the veteran Dutch coach’s obsession for retaining possession and playing safe football during his two-year spell at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils appeared to be playing with the handbrake taken off in Mourinho’s first match in charge against Wigan Athletic last weekend and supporters are optimistic, particularly after the recent signings and the potential arrival of Paul Pogba, they’ll get their money’s worth this season.
Herrera: No excuses, United should never lose
Herrera made no excuses for United’s defeat today but pointed to the fact Dortmund are further along the lines in terms of their pre-season preparations.
"They are a very good team and they have already played four pre-season games,” the former Athletic Bilbao star added. “They are fitter and better, but there are no excuses. United should never lose.
"When you have four or five games, you arrive one second before opponent. We do not want to use excuses, but they are a very good team. We are improving and building a fantastic team. We are optimistic for the new season.
“We want to be fit as soon as possible, ready for Leicester [in the Community Shield]. We want to be ready and we want to win the title next season.”
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