"Effort and dedication aren't negotiable," Ander Herrera told UEFA.com, Manchester United's all-action midfielder determined to leave no stone unturned in their bid to beat Ajax in the UEFA Europa League final.
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On the UEFA Europa League final ...
It's a pivotal game for us, for our ambition to play in the Champions League next season. It's also a European trophy, an important one. It has been a long time since United last won a European trophy and the Europa League is the only competition the club haven't won yet. All this makes it a very important game for us, but the same goes for Ajax. I'll do everything I can to bring the trophy back to Manchester, while also remaining aware of Ajax's qualities and not underestimating them.
The trophy's a very heavy one? I don't even want to think about it – it could be bad luck. I prefer to think that we are going to face a good team and that we need to perform to our best to win the final. I prefer not to think about the trophy. Would I touch it before the game? No chance.
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On Ajax ...
I'm sure they are as excited as we are. We respect them, because they have performed well so far and because they have very talented players. They are a very dynamic and attack-minded team. They are also a club with great history and clubs like this make finals even more special. Ajax and United are European giants, so it will be a very attractive game for everyone.
On losing with Athletic in the 2012 UEFA Europa League final ...
Those are bad memories, because I lost. Atlético Madrid were better than us. We had a fantastic campaign – we knocked out top teams like Schalke, Manchester United and Sporting Lisbon – and we went into the final as favourites, but Atlético managed the game well. They were a more experienced team than us and that can be decisive in a final. But even if I hadn't lost that final, this final would still be as huge a game for me. Every final you play gets your whole attention. You don't think of what happened in the past.
On José Mourinho ...
He has already won two trophies in his first season: the Community Shield and the League Cup. That's not easy at all. That shows what he is: a winner. It is in his DNA. He does everything to win and I think that's the perfect match for Manchester United. A winning coach at a club that's used to winning.
On being a fan favourite at United ...
I don't feel comfortable talking about myself. The only thing I can say is that I always try to give my best, without making any excuses. Sometimes things go well, sometimes they go badly, but effort and dedication aren't negotiable. When I came to Manchester United, I was aware it was a unique opportunity and I was determined to make the most of it. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm not perfect, but I always try to give my best. I don't want to feel at the end of the game that I still have some energy left. Our fans have watched incredible players and to try to keep up the club's standards, you need to give it your all.