Ander Herrera expresses his support for Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

By: Aveek Chakraborty
Ander Herrera expresses his support for Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho

London, Nov 13: Jose Mourinho has always handled criticism from all around the world for his controversial behaviour and remarks.

But his current Manchester United player Ander Herrera now has insisted that the club manager’s outbursts have always been to protect his players from any kind of criticism and the Portuguese makes provocative remarks only to draw the attention away from his players.

After having a high flying start in the campaign during August and September period, Manchester United as of late struggled to find the same rhythm and could only manage to win once in their last four games in the league.

Not only the player's performance but also manager Mourinho's tactics have come in the firing line at this point. United's pragmatic approach in Liverpool away game gave Mourinho some sticks whereas, after their defeat to Huddersfield, the manager lambasted Herrera in the press conference for suggesting that the 'Red Devils' played with less passion.

The Portuguese coach also, later, made a pointed 'shhhh' gesture to the television cameras at full-time of United's 1-0 win against Tottenham before hitting out at his own fans’ for a lame treatment of Romelu Lukaku and booing his decision to substitute Marcus Rashford in that game.

After a series of critical circumstances, many were claiming that this type of behaviour will make the players revolt against him. However, Herrera, who brought criticism from his boss often this season, claimed that this kind of action is one of Mourinho's method to use the media to divert attention away from the players and lessen the pressure away from the team so that they can play with greater freedom.

"You can talk about everything with him and he is much closer to the players than it appears in front of the media," he told Panenka magazine.

"He assumes that role to remove some of the pressure from the players and to protect the team."

The Manchester giant only have secured four points from the possible 12 in the last four matches and are currently placed second in the points table, eight-point adrift of leaders Manchester City.

However, they will be again looking for a win this weekend to continue mounting pressure on their rivals for a title challenge after the international break when they will face a tricky Newcastle United side, led by Mourinho's old rival Rafa Benitez.

Story first published: Monday, November 13, 2017, 13:30 [IST]
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