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Ander Herrera is back in the fold..

Jose Mourinho explains how Ander Herrera fits in at Manchester United

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Things were always going to change at Manchester United when Louis van Gaal was sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Although the two worked together at Barcelona in the 1990s, their footballing philosophies have grown a sizable distance apart with Mourinho developing his own take on a classically pragmatic approach.

In fact, recent reports would have us believe that Mourinho is struggling to eradicate the tactical impression that Van Gaal left at Old Trafford, privately blaming their poor start to the season on the mixed messages that players have received since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.

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But Mourinho has done his best to put his own stamp on the team. He signed four senior players in the summer transfer window and did his best to get those he didn't want out of the club. The likes of Marcos Rojo and Bastian Schweinsteiger were told to leave but decided to stay.

They aren't the only two who have struggled to convince the Special One, however. Ander Herrera was another player who found his future in significant doubt following two forgettable years under Van Gaal.

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The Spaniard has failed to start any of Manchester United's opening four Premier League games but found himself thrust into the spotlight ahead of Marouane Fellaini for their game against Leicester City.

He performed well and kept his place for Sunday's game against Stoke City. But why was he left out in the cold up until now? Well, Mourinho offered a very truthful explanation ahead of the game against the Potters.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-STOKE

Important player

Mourinho told BT Sport: "The players are good players but some of them perform better with the ideas of a different manager. The opposite also works.

"Some boys could feel [more comfortable] Mr. Van Gaal's way of thinking and play but that's football. But Ander can be an important player for us because we play with four attacking players plus Pogba that likes to go to different areas to try to create.

"I think we need a player like Ander because he is very fast on the defensive transition and can give us the protection we need against teams with fast counter attacks."

Who else does it apply to?

Mourinho's comments will send a shiver down the spine of Morgan Schneiderlin, who was sitting in the director's box for Sunday's game.

The Frenchman has made just a single substitute's appearance in the league this season even though he perfectly suits the role Mourinho describes above. Indeed, the comments could quite easily apply to Schneiderlin too, suggesting his style of play simply does not suit his tactics.

As Juan Mata or Schweinsteiger will tell him, that usually means he will be on his way out sooner rather than later.

Feyenoord v Manchester United FC - UEFA Europa League

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Football
Premier League
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Ryan Giggs
Jose Mourinho

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