— Ander Herrera (@AnderHerrera) April 19, 2017
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has explained why in-form Ander Herrera was an unused substitute in last night’s Europa League quarter-final win over Anderlecht.
The Spaniard had starred with a goal, an assist and a man of the match performance in the win against Chelsea last weekend, but was not called upon in the European fixture.
But Mourinho has confirmed that Herrera is fit to play in the Premier League fixture against Burnley this weekend. It appears that the United boss was keen to avoid having Herrera, who was carrying a yellow card, suspended for the semi-final and to save the midfielder’s legs for the clash with the Clarets, but many fans will have wondered why he was not called upon as the tie headed towards its nervy extra-time conclusion.
Mourinho has revealed that he was intending to bring Herrera off the bench, but had been forced into a rethink after the first-half injury suffered by defender Marcos Rojo.
It appears that, had Rojo not been injured, Herrera would have entered the fray on 60 minutes along with Marouane Fellaini as part of a planned double substitution.
Mourinho told United’s website: “Herrera plays [against Burnley]. He didn’t play on Thursday – one yellow card and he would have missed the semi-finals. I was thinking about him and Fellaini both at the same time but, because I made a change with Marcos Rojo, I couldn’t do that and he didn’t play.”
Fellaini came on to replace Jesse Lingard on the hour-mark.