Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera is determined to hold on to his first team role after his man of the match performance in Saturday's (17 October) victory over Everton.
Herrera, 26, has started just five games in all competitions this season and missed matches against Wolfsburg and Arsenal with a muscular problem. With many of his teammates away with their respective countries during the international break, the Spaniard returned to training and believes that extra hard work is now paying off.
"I have trained really hard in these two weeks," Herrera told United's official website. "I wanted to play as soon as possible and the manager gave me the chance. I enjoyed the chance he gave to me and I want to keep helping the team. I am a team player and when I play I will do my best."
While Herrera swiftly won over supporters following his arrival from Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2014, he has often struggled to hold down a first team role under Louis van Gaal. The Dutchman even suggested after Saturday's 3-0 win over Everton, a game where Herrera scored and provided the assist for Wayne Rooney's goal, that he could still drop the midfielder, depending on United's opponent.
But Herrera understands he needs to maintain his current level to avoid such a scenario. "I scored and got an assist, so I can enjoy. I am very happy. I want to be a top player and I have to play like this always. You want to always be in the team but this is Manchester United. You have to play really good if you want to be in the team every day, so that is what I want to do.
"I think people are happy with me and they value me because I always try to give everything for the team. I am really proud because I am at Manchester United and I will try to do my best to establish myself in the first team."