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Man Utd progress 'not about Bruno', says new fan favourite Fernandes

By Ben Spratt
Bruno Fernandes

London, March 14: Bruno Fernandes is happy to have aided Manchester United's upturn in form but believes the team could have been equally successful without him.

Portugal international Fernandes signed from Sporting CP in an initial £46.5million (€55m) deal in January following months of speculation.

The midfielder has adjusted seamlessly to life in the Premier League, contributing three goals and four assists in his first nine appearances for United in all competitions.

Indeed, the Red Devils are now unbeaten in 11 matches since losing to Burnley shortly before Fernandes' arrival.

This run of results left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side just three points shy of the top four in the Premier League, into the last eight of the FA Cup and 5-0 up after their Europa League last-16 first leg against LASK as the season was paused this week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fernandes insists this is the "same team" as it was prior to his move, though, and claims he is not the sole cause of United's improved fortunes.

"I see the same team from one month ago," he told Sky Sports. "I think we are the same and have a lot of hunger to win, to give a lot, to do better and better in every game.

"In the last month, we've had a lot of really good games and I think we can talk about a new start after Bruno, but it's not about Bruno, it's about the team.

"The team needs the right focus, the right decisions at the time, and I think, also, if Bruno doesn't come, Man United would win the same because one player doesn't change a team.

"A team changes when everyone pushes together for the same side. When I arrived, I saw the team pushing for the same side and to win games, get better and I'm another player to help."

Fernandes has been impressed by Solskjaer, too, highlighting the former striker's man management in a world where "every coach is really good".

"He was a footballer, so he knows when he needs to talk to players, when he needs to give a good word or sometimes come and push you to give more," Fernandes said.

"I think when you have a past in football, you understand these things more than when you don't have [a past].

"But sometimes, you have coaches who never play football and they also know this, too, so it depends from coach to coach.

"I think Ole is really careful with these kinds of points. He wants perfection, which is impossible, but he tries to ask more and more from us."

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Story first published: Saturday, March 14, 2020, 17:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 14, 2020
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