Ander Herrera insists Jose Mourinho is fully behind the Manchester United players as they try to secure a return to the Champions League for next season.
Victory over Celta Vigo in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday night put United in the driving seat to book a spot in the final in June, with the victor in Stockholm assured of Champions League qualification for next season’s competition.
Their league campaign hasn’t been overly successful, with United sitting in fifth, four points off the top four and Mourinho has publicly criticised several players this season as his side have struggled, despite a record-breaking unbeaten run.
However, speaking to Sky Sports ahead of United’s Super Sunday trip to Arsenal, Herrera is adamant the Portuguese has complete faith that the squad can secure that return to Europe’s premier competition one way or another, with victory at the Emirates on Sunday the short-term goal.
“The previous seasons here I was happy, but with Mourinho I have found the balance and stability,” Herrera said. “He gave me a lot of importance from the beginning of the season. I feel I always have his support. That helps you perform better when you have your manager behind you.
“It is not only me. Everyone in the team feels the support of the manager.
“We are ready. We are in a good moment. We are a difficult team to beat. It is not so easy to score against us.
“We know Arsenal are a very good team, they have some special players who can change the game in one moment, but we are really ready, ready to go there and try to win. That’s the way we have to face them.
“If we lose against Arsenal, we will have another final against Celta, another final against Tottenham, this season is like this and will be like this until the end.
“The only way is to try and win every game. You cannot select games. Every game is important. We are defending Manchester United, we are defending the greatest club in England, one of the greatest in the world. No excuses. Fight for every game.
“We have a lot of injuries at the moment, but we have players coming back. Sometimes in the difficult moments, you find the spirit and everyone works in the same way and pushes together.
“There are players who are not playing every week, but they can help us. We have a very good squad.
“All our focus is on the Champions League. If we get it, it will be a very good season.”
After two seasons in and out of the team, Herrera has become a key figure for United this campaign and has been deployed in numerous roles within the team, something he is more than happy to do.
“It has been my most regular season,” Herrera added. “It is not finished yet. I am happy with my performances so far, but you know how football is – you have to finish the season well, to be remembered. Now we are in a crucial moment of the season. We have to play for the top four and fight for Europa League
“The manager gave me that role at the beginning of the season. He told me he would play me there [defensive midfield] and some other positions. That is good for me because I give my manager options.”