Javier Hernandez reflects on Manchester United, Premier League
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 02/11/16 9:43am
Former Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez says he has nothing to prove in English football as he prepares to line up for Bayer Leverkusen against Tottenham at Wembley on Wednesday.
The Mexican had a good goal-scoring record during his time at United but struggled to nail down a regular starting berth and became known as something of an impact substitute.
After a loan spell with Real Madrid, he left United for good in 2015 with an impressive 59 goals to his name from 156 games, and he has continued to impress in Germany, with seven goals in 13 for Leverkusen already this term.
He will now be a key player in a crunch Champions League Group E encounter but insists he does not feel under extra pressure to prove his worth back in England.
"No, definitely not," he said. "Any minutes I had on the pitch at Manchester United, I tried to do my best. Thankfully, the numbers are positive for me.
"When I left I had the fourth[-best] record in history of minutes and goals in the Premier League. That's what I had at United.
"I also left a lot of good friends and memories in the Premier League. In all parts of life things can be better or worse but I enjoyed it a lot.
"I got a lot of experience and now I am at one of the best teams in Germany.
"I am doing my best, enjoying the best thing I love in my life, which is football, so I am very glad and very happy."
Spurs are now more of a force than since Hernandez used to face them regularly but he is not shocked by their emergence.
"It doesn't surprise me because they have a very good process, a top trainer in Mauricio Pochettino and they have kept a lot of good players," he added.
"Sooner or later I thought Tottenham would be, if not winning the title, in the top four and the Champions League. It doesn't surprise me.
"We see them as one of the toughest teams in Europe definitely. We play offensive styles, with pressure against the opposition team.
"It is a tough match but we are focused and, if we can stop them and play our own game, we have a big chance to win the game."
The reverse fixture in Germany last month finished 0-0 but it was something of a game of two halves, with Spurs dominating the first period before Leverkusen had the better of the second period.
"I think when we came out in the second half we showed more ambition, more aggression, and played on the front foot," Bayer boss Roger Schmidt said.
"This is the best way play to play a team like Tottenham, who are very good at pressing and winning the ball and changing defence to attack.
"We'll look to approach the game in a similar fashion to that second half."