Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has backed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to lift himself out of his most pronounced scoring slump for almost a decade.
Ibrahimovic was frustrated more than most by a virtuoso display from Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton on Saturday, as Sean Dyche’s unfancied side left Old Trafford with a hard-earned 0-0 draw.
Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands for the second half and Herrera picked up a controversial second yellow card for a foul on Dean Marney after the break.
Nevertheless, the sight of former Juventus, Barcelona, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain star Ibrahimovic going six league games without a goal for the first time since December 2007 arguably encapsulated United’s disillusion more than any other setback this weekend.
“If one player can get back and pass this moment it’s him because of his attitude, his character, the way he works,” Herrera told reporters. “I have no doubt he is going to score a lot of goals for us.
“But it is not only him. We missed a lot of chances, not only him.
“He is giving us a lot of things for the team. Some of the chances we created came because of him, so we cannot tell him anything.
“We have to say that we have one of the best strikers in the world and his attitude, his character is top.”
Herrera earned justifiable sympathy over his dismissal after he appeared to lose his footing before colliding with Marney, with referee Mark Clattenburg doing little to further endear himself to Mourinho or the Old Trafford faithful by brandishing red.
“For the first yellow card, I bent my knees, I didn’t want to kick the opponent,” he explained.
“For the second, I slid. 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.”