Erik ten Hag makes Bruno Fernandes decision following calls for Casemiro to replace him as Man Utd captain
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Bruno Fernandes will remain captain despite criticism after the 7-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
His position as captain has come under question, with some calls for the armband to be given to another player, such as Casemiro or Raphael Varane.
The Portugal star is United's captain whenever Harry Maguire is on the pitch - although that could turn into a permanent assignment next season depending on whether Maguire remains at the club.
Now, speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of United's Europa League clash against Real Betis on Thursday, Ten Hag has made his stance clear on whether Fernandes will remain in his role.
Man Utd boss Ten Hag on Fernandes
Ten Hag explained (quotes via Manchester Evening News): "Yes, definitely [still captain]. I think he's playing a brilliant season, he's played an important role in the position that we are.
"He's giving energy to the team, running a lot with intensity, in the right way.
"He's pointing and coaching players, he's an inspiration for the whole team. No-one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes.
"I'm really happy to have Bruno Fernandes in my team and I'm happy with him as our captain with Harry not on the pitch."
Star forward Marcus Rashford added: "He's been a good leader for us, even when he's not captain, which is always a good sign.
"He's helped the other players become better leaders and the reality is that we can't be an organised team in terms of just one leader being captain. He's done a lot for us.
"I don't have anything negative to say about Bruno. As the manager said, nobody is perfect. I support him and I'm 100 per cent behind him."
He told Bettingsites.co.uk (quotes via JOE): "I think Casemiro is a captain in waiting. I think everyone's been impressed with the way he's come in, with the winning mentality that he's brought from Real Madrid.
"I don't think they've had leaders recently. When I was at the club we were fortunate to have the likes of Steve Bruce, Bryan Robson, Roy Keane and Paul Ince. These guys were warriors on a football pitch.
"Bruno is different to that, as is Harry Maguire. I don't think they've got that warrior mentality."