Man Utd Boss Hails Bruno Fernandes and Ex-Captain Maguire

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has heaped praise on Bruno Fernandes following his injury-time winner against Fulham. The Red Devils secured a crucial 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage, putting an end to their two-match losing streak and climbing to sixth place in the Premier League standings.

Speaking to TNT Sports after the match, Ten Hag responded to doubts about Fernandes’ suitability as captain, stating, “It’s clear. You can score in the beginning, you can score at the end, but if you score at the end away from home it’s always the best moment, because the opponent has almost no time to come back.”

The Dutch manager expressed his confusion over the doubts surrounding Fernandes, highlighting that everyone makes mistakes and nobody is perfect. However, he emphasized the Portuguese midfielder’s positive contributions and leadership qualities, stating, “He’s doing a lot of things very well and he has shown every time as a captain that he’s an example. You see today how he’s working, how he’s pressing, and then in the end he scores a goal. So he’s massively important for us.”

Ten Hag was also questioned about the lack of a settled starting lineup this season, to which he attributed to the team’s numerous injuries. Despite the lack of consistency, he made it clear that it should not be an excuse for not winning games. He expressed confidence in the squad’s quality and emphasized the need for more games with the same lineup to improve their performance.

The United manager also took the opportunity to praise Harry Maguire, who has bounced back after losing the captain’s armband to Fernandes. Ten Hag commended the English defender for his defensive abilities and his ability to contribute with progressive passing and diagonal balls. He acknowledged that Maguire had not been given a chance last season due to the solid defensive partnerships, but now that he has been given an opportunity, he has proven himself.

Looking ahead, Ten Hag expressed optimism about the team’s improvement, especially with players returning from injury. He described the performance against Fulham as solid and highlighted the foundation for further improvement. He emphasized the importance of both performance and points, stating, “You need performance and then points will come. I always want to improve the process, but sometimes you have to be more pragmatic. However, today was an improved performance.”

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