Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes has admitted that the club has been dropping too many points at Old Trafford this season, although he insists United have improved and defied expectations to be second in the Premier League, and insists the club is ‘made for trophies’.
Fernandes has made an incredible impact since his arrival in Manchester in January 2020, scoring more than a goal every other game and 23 this season alone. He has also only been on the losing side on four occasions in 44 Premier League appearances.
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United still have a little way to go before mounting a serious title challenge, but they remain on course to finish second this term for only the second time in eight seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. They will end this season without a domestic trophy but are favourites to win the Europa League, and there's enough evidence to suggest that both short and long term progress has been made.
“It’s tough in England, because the games are so tight. Every team genuinely has a chance to win the match. It’s 50/50 before every game, and we see it with the results. But we’re doing better,” Fernandes told FourFourTwo.
“We can’t drop as many points as we do at home, but we’ve been in second, and at the start of the season there weren’t many people who were saying United would be second.
“After a few games and a bad start, nobody was saying United could reach the top of the table, but we ignored what people were saying on the outside.
“We knew what we had said on the inside, we had confidence that things would improve, and they did. We still have to be the best United we can, but we have improved.”
Fernandes has firmly bought into the club’s philosophy geared towards winning trophies and is adamant that…“We can’t think of anything else at this club.”
He added: “United is made for trophies and the whole mood is around that. We reached the semis [of the League Cup] and lost to City, but that’s not enough. That wasn’t our time – we need to be in finals, and to win them.”
Fernandes, who last season became the second Portuguese player to win United’s prestigious Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award after Cristiano Ronaldo, has enjoyed his time in English football so far, able to compare to his previous spells in Italy and his native Portugal.
Having never been at the academy of one of Portugal’s big three, he took an alternative road to the top and moved to Serie B club Novara shortly before his 18th birthday. He later played for Udinese and Sampdoria before returning home to join Sporting CP as he was about to turn 23.
“We have ultras in Portugal and in Italy also, where I played for five seasons. They are more passionate than rational. In Italy, it’s more passionate like Portugal. The supporters live through football. For them, it’s expressed in the game,” Fernandes, now 26, explained.
“In England, I feel like the people come to enjoy the game as a show, like the theatre or the cinema. The atmosphere is more clean. But in England, every game is played in a full stadium – it doesn’t matter which team you play against. The atmosphere is really good and it’s nice to feel it.”
This month’s FourFourTwo is in shops on Wednesday, April 7 and has a 10 page interview with Manchester United forward Bruno Fernandes.
Also in this issue, The Football League Top 50, an interview with Leeds star Raphinha and former Spurs star Steven Caulker opens up. To subscribe to FourFourTwo for a special five issues for £5 go to:www.magazinesdirect.com/spring21