Bruno's message for matchwinner Mason
Bruno Fernandes predicts that Mason Greenwood’s Manchester United goals account will go from strength to strength, but the Portuguese maestro says it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all for our young hitman.
Greenwood was the Reds' matchwinning hero against Brighton as United came from behind at Old Trafford in the Premier League to beat the Seagulls 2-1.
Ex-Red Danny Welbeck had opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half, but United hit back with second-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Greenwood, who headed home the 83rd-minute winner.
It was his second goal in successive matches having scored our goal at Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final defeat before the international break.
The 19-year-old’s previous Premier League goal came back in the first week of December at West Ham and it was only his sixth following his 17 goals in his first full season during 2019/20. But Bruno pointed out his second season is an understandable reaction to a headline-hitting debut term.
“Everyone has to know that Mason is a young player and now everyone is starting to know how Mason is, it will become more and more difficult for him,” Fernandes told MUTV after our win.
“It is normal. It is part of the development for him and he will learn from here so it doesn’t matter how many goals he scores; the most important thing for us is that he still helps the team and he is doing his best.
“It is important for us as a team, it doesn’t matter who scores. If Mason scores for us or not, it is important if he can do other jobs, recover balls, pressing, defend when we need it, make assists, create danger.
“So it is not important for him to score. He has to understand, he is such a young lad. Of course, every striker wants to score but, anyway, he will score more and more goals as the seasons pass.”
The comeback against Brighton secured United a 25th point from losing positions this season and Bruno was pleased with spirit and determination shown by everyone.
“It says a lot," he insisted. "The spirit and determination is also there when we don’t concede and don’t have to come back. The spirit has to be there to not concede goals.
“If you don’t concede you are closer to winning the game, we know that and we have to keep doing our job and defending as a team and then scoring goals is the most important thing.”
Marcus Rashford scored his 19th of the season to level the scores up in the second half after returning from the injury that kept him out of the Leicester FA Cup exit and England’s World Cup qualifiers. Fernandes set the striker up for the goal, but admitted he didn’t see the finish.
“I didn’t see it because someone almost broke my ankle!” said Bruno.
“But I’m happy for the team, I am happy for Marcus. It was a good effort because as everyone knows he has come back from injury and he’s helped us.
“This effort comes from everyone. The press for the first goal was good it made them do the wrong ball and I recovered the ball and passed to Marcus and he scores. Everyone is happy when we win and it doesn’t matter who scores.”
United’s win strengthened our position in the top four after rivals Leicester and Chelsea lost over the Easter weekend and Tottenham drew.
It means the Reds, in second place, are 11 points clear of Spurs, Liverpool and West Ham with eight league matches to go as the battle for Champions League places reaches a climax. However, Fernandes’ focus is not on those below.
“For me it doesn’t matter that they drop points or not because if we don’t drop points that is the most important thing because they are behind us so we have to focus on ourselves, be the best version of ourselves, give our best and get our results, because if we do that we end the season where we want,” he said.