Ander Herrera has insisted that Manchester United’s defence could be key to their success this season.
Despite struggling in front of goal in recent games, the likes of Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and David de Gea have combined to create a formidable defensive unit since the start of the campaign.
Man United have not conceded in the past four games and Herrera believes the team’s defensive stability will be crucial to their chances.
“It’s a positive that we’re not conceding goals. We saw it last year with Chelsea; I don’t think they scored too many goals, but they didn’t concede many either. That’s important when you want to have a great season, you can’t give away many chances,” Herrera said.
“I think we controlled the game against [CSKA] Moscow. We only conceded one chance, which was good. We also created 10 or 12 chances, which was also good – we want to control games and did that today.”
Despite a long-term injury to Luke Shaw, United’s defence looks more assured by the week, something which was not the case at times last season.
Smalling has now become one of Louis van Gaal‘s most valued players, and has contributed several game-saving performances already this term. Playing alongside the likes of Darmian and Blind, who has so far exuded confidence in his new role, means United are a much more difficult side to break down, especially when De Gea is in such incredible form.
Van Gaal’s defenders must ensure that their performances stay at such a level for the remainder of the season if United are to contest for honours on all fronts – something which many fans are growing more and more impatient for.