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Bruno Fernandes opens up on how Manchester United squad felt after Brighton and Brentford defeats

Dylan Penketh

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Bruno Fernandes opens up on how Manchester United squad felt after Brighton and Brentford defeats

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Bruno Fernandes has been a slightly controversial figure among Manchester United fans in recent seasons, however his statistics at the club so far are undeniably impressive.

He has 51 goals and 40 assists in 134 appearances for Manchester United, and has been a catalytic figure both within the club and on the field.

This season, Erik ten Hag has come in as the new manager of the Red Devils, and had a full pre-season to get to know his squad.

However, once the Premier League season opening weekend came, United suffered an embarrassing defeat to Brighton, losing 2-1 and their only goal being scored by a Brighton player in their own net.

When asked by the Athletic on the fixture and how it felt, and he cited how the side's confidence was low.

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“You could feel it between us, between the fans, in the atmosphere, that it was like getting back to the past,” Fernandes said. “Everyone felt that the confidence was low again.

"Everyone was a little - not afraid - but not feeling the best to take the ball. I felt sometimes like it was the ghosts from the past."

This fixture was followed by another even worse defeat - a 4-0 thrashing courtesy of Brentford.

“Then Brentford was even worse," Fernandes described. "We conceded a goal from nothing and all of a sudden you could see the energy of the team was low, the confidence was low.”

When Fernandes mentions the "ghosts from the past", he is referring to the dismal and depressing events of the previous season.

From Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's poor start to the season and sacking to the club finishing 6th in the Premier League and losing to Crystal Palace on the final day, last season was a season to forget for the Red Devils.

He continued by talking about how much of an effect confidence has on a team: “Confidence in football is not everything but almost everything.

"When you have the confidence of your team-mates, your coach, the fans, it is really important because sometimes on the pitch, when you miss a pass and everyone is…”

The Athletic then say his face dropped, and he made 'that unmistakable kind of groaning sound football supporters produce when a pass goes astray'.

Bruno Fernandes scores against Southampton. (Man Utd)
Bruno Fernandes scores against Southampton. (Man Utd)

“You can feel it in that moment. But when you miss a pass and react quickly, you see the fans appreciate it, so for us, it is about having the confidence that we are capable of doing something."

Bruno Fernandes noted that he recognises the change in mentality that is needed to regain confidence in a player's game.

“When I talk about the ghosts of the past, I mean that we felt in the past that every time we miss a pass or something, we were letting someone down, so you start missing more. Instead, you must think, ‘I have to try’.

“I know that because I have had more than 400 games in my career. I have had bad games, really good games, normal games.

"It is about understanding what you have done well in the good ones to keep having them and to shake off doubts about your performance.”

Manchester United will face Manchester City in the Manchester derby once the international break is concluded.

Topics: Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United

Dylan Penketh
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