Ander Herrera has praised Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal for giving him the confidence to dispatch the penalty in their 3-1 win against Liverpool.
In the absence of regular penalty taker Wayne Rooney, Herrera was tasked with taking the spot-kick that he smashed into the roof of the net.
However, the Spanish midfielder says he had never taken a penalty before but praised the Dutch boss for giving him the confidence to step up at Old Trafford.
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When asked if he had taken a penalty before, Herrera, as per the club's official website, said: "Never, never. But the manager last season gave me the confidence. He told me I had the quality to take penalties, and I have practiced every week.
"And, today, when I received the penalty, I thought the number-one taker isn’t on the pitch, I’m the second taker so I’m happy for that. But, next time, if the number-one taker is on the pitch I won’t be taking it."
Having struggled for minutes in the opening weeks of the season, the 26-year-old has battled back into the starting line-up and has repaid his manager with two goals in three matches.
The former Athletic Bilbao man has become a fan favourite at Old Trafford after his performances last season and is slowly becoming an integral part of United's team.
Playing in a more advanced role behind the striker, Herrera has the freedom to express himself but also shows the defensive discipline required by Van Gaal.
If he continues to produce goals alongside top performances, he will be one of the first names on Van Gaal's team-sheet.
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