Manchester United news: Ander Herrera bemoans one of his 'toughest days' after red card in Burnley draw

The Spaniard revealed that the United dressing room was in no mood to talk after seeing Sean Dyche's side hold out for a point at Old Trafford

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The Independent Football

It was, said Ander Herrera, one of the hardest days he had known. The midfielder had been part of a Manchester United side that had been completely dominant, that had aimed 37 shots at Burnley’s goal and come away with a point. He had been sent off, rather unluckily as it turned out, and his manager, Jose Mourinho, had been dismissed.

The FA will wait until Monday before deciding what charges to bring against Mourinho, whom Mark Clattenburg sent to the stands for protesting against what was a correct decision not to award a penalty for a supposed trip on Matteo Darmian.

Mourinho is unlikely to care what punishment the FA dishes out even if it extends to the stadium ban he suffered at Stoke last year in his final shambolic month as Chelsea’s manager.

What he would care about is that after 10 games Manchester United are in the positions of also-rans, where they have largely been since Sir Alex Ferguson took his leave of Old Trafford.

“It was unbelievable,” said Herrera, who thought United might on another day have won by six or seven. “I was just talking to Juan Mata and we both agreed we have never left something like that on the pitch and not got a result. Controlling the game for 90 minutes, playing with the ball for 90 minutes and not scoring a goal was unbelievable.

“I think we are on the right way but this is one of the toughest days of my career because we deserved to win. Maybe 6-0 or 7-0 but this is football.”

This was something Mourinho recognised. After the game he went to the away dressing room and shook hands with all of Burnley’s players. The hands belonging to Burnley’s keeper, Tom Heaton, had been the difference between a routine victory and heroic defiance. The home dressing room, said Herrera, was very quiet. Nobody was in the mood to talk.

“I made two fouls in the game and both of them I didn’t want to make,” he said, turning his mind to the two yellow cards that curtailed his involvement with 20 minutes still to run.

“For the first yellow, I bent my knees. I did not want to kick my opponent. For the second, I slide but I don’t want to complain because I don’t want to be banned for more games. The only thing I can say is that I didn’t want to make those fouls. I am not a violent player. I slipped.”

It is not just Herrera who slipped. His team is slipping. The last four games have yielded three points and one goal. Two of those were at home to Stoke and Burnley sides, sides who had not won at Old Trafford in 40 and 54 years respectively. Fixtures against Arsenal and Tottenham now lie square on the horizon.

Manchester United’s stutter has coincided with a loss of momentum from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. You would hestitate to call it a loss of form because he would have scored on Saturday but for a piece of goalkeeping from Heaton that resembled Peter Schmeichel in his pomp.

Faria: Mourinho sending off 'not important'

Not since December 2007 when he was part of Roberto Mancini’s squad at Inter Milan had Ibrahimovic gone six games without a goal. He still ended up as Inter’s leading scorer and Inter ended up with the Serie A title.

He might repeat the former at Manchester United but nobody at Old Trafford is talking about the championship. “We have to say we still have one of the best strikers in the world and his attitude, his character are top,” said Herrera. “He did not say anything in the dressing room because today was not the day to speak.

“The dressing room was completely disappointed because of the way we played. There were no words. I am not going to be able to sleep for sure because I am going to have those missed chances in my head.”

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