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We're still heading in right direction to compete with City, insists Herrera

By Simon Peach

Ander Herrera believes Manchester United need to keep calm and carry on in the wake of their FA Cup final defeat.

Saturday's season-defining trip to Wembley ended in a galling 1-0 loss to Chelsea, leaving Jose Mourinho lamenting a trophyless second campaign in the Old Trafford dugout.

United won the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield in the Portuguese's first season at the helm, although they also stumbled home sixth in the Premier League. They kicked on to finish runners-up this time around, with Herrera focusing on such positives rather than the FA Cup defeat and 19-point gap to champions Manchester City.

"I think we are going to the right way," the Spanish midfielder said.

"This season, we cannot take credit out from what Man City have done because they deserve to be champions and they have been almost perfect this season, or perfect.

"I think we have to keep going in this way. I think we are doing things right, and try to be back playing finals.

"I think I've been here already four seasons and I have played a lot of finals here, which is very good.

"This club is about trophies but first of all to win trophies you have to play finals and I think we are doing that."

Pushed on whether he was pleased with United's progress this season, Herrera added: "I think we've done good.

"Normally in a normal Premier League we should have been fighting for the title with the amount of points we had.

"But Man City did perfect, so the only thing we can do is try to do the same next season.

"Try to not make some mistakes that we made this season - some games that we should have won against teams that, with all my respect for the team, we should win those games.

"As I told you, keep fighting for titles, keep coming to Wembley - hopefully - and that's all we can do."

There is, though, no doubt that United could have done more at Wembley.

A tepid first-half response to Eden Hazard's penalty was followed by an improved display after the break, yet sustained pressure rarely threatened to bring an equaliser.

Meanwhile, former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has laid into Alexis Sanchez following the FA Cup final, claiming his performances "can't get any worse".

The Chile international was singled out for criticism following his poor display as United lost 1-0 to Chelsea on Saturday.

Scholes believes Sanchez will have to improve vastly next season if the club are to have any chance of challenging champions Manchester City.

"His performances, well they have to improve," Scholes said.

"They can't get any worse to be honest with you.

"I think the next few games of next season are vital to him. He needs to get fans believing again and believing they are going to get close to City. They need a big player.

"Paul Pogba does not win you games on his own. (Eden) Hazard does. Alexis Sanchez doesn't, he's shown that since January, they thought he could, but what we've seen...

"They need two magical players. I think they've got really good players, they haven't got a Hazard, (Cristiano) Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi, and I know many teams haven't, but the difference between the two was the quality in Hazard."

Belfast Telegraph

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