'No one is perfect' - Bruno Fernandes to REMAIN Man Utd vice-captain as Erik ten Hag defends midfielder after Liverpool horror show
- Ten Hag backs Fernandes after Anfield disaster
- Manager said midfielder normally inspires team-mates
- "No-one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes"
WHAT HAPPENED? Ten Hag has declared that Fernandes will remain United's vice-captain despite the avalanche of criticism directed at the midfielder after the 7-0 hiding to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Fernandes is the second-choice skipper after official captain Harry Maguire, who has barely featured this season, but the likes of Casemiro and Marcus Rashford have also been tipped for the role. Ten Hag acknowledged that Fernandes made "mistakes" against Liverpool, but insists he remains a key member of his squad and has highlighted his overall contribution this season.
WHAT THEY SAID: Pressed on whether Fernandes will retain the armband, Ten Hag told a press conference: "Yes, definitely. He’s playing a brilliant season, he’s had a really important role in why we’re in the position where we are he’s giving energy to the team, not only running a lot at the highest intensity but the right way and right direction. He’s coaching players, he’s an inspiration, but no-one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, we have to learn, he has to learn, he will because he’s intelligent. I’m happy to have Bruno Fernandes in the team and that he’s captain when Harry isn’t on the pitch."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Portuguese was fiercely criticised by former United skippers Gary Neville and Roy Keane for his body language during the game and there have been calls for him to be stripped of the captaincy. Fernandes was also seen pushing the assistant referee in the second half at Anfield, but the FA has confirmed that no retrospective punishment will be dished out.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Marcus Rashford echoed his manager's words on Fernandes, adding: "I love playing with Bruno, for a forward like me he’s a perfect player to play with. He’s been a good leader for us even when he’s not been captain, which is always a good sign, he’s helped other players become better leaders and the reality is we can’t be organised with just one leader being captain. Sometimes you want to win so bad you end up doing things a little our of character. As a team we have to support him because he’s a fantastic player."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER UNITED? The Red Devils have the chance to respond to Sunday's nightmare when they play Real Betis at Old Trafford on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.