Fernandes: Old Trafford will give us a big push
Bruno Fernandes is calling on the Old Trafford crowd to give Manchester United ‘a big push’ during Saturday’s derby against Manchester City (12:30 GMT kick-off).
The Reds go into the clash with Pep Guardiola’s men in a commanding run of form, having won each of our last eight games across all competitions.
City were eliminated from the Carabao Cup by Southampton in midweek, but Fernandes is aware of the obvious threat our neighbours can pose, after a 6-3 defeat in October’s reverse fixture.
He thinks home advantage could be a major factor this time around and points out August’s victory over Liverpool – a game where the boisterous M16 crowd played a hugely important part – as being a turning point in our season.
“It is a big derby for us, as we lost away against them in a bad way and we need to do something different, also because we are playing at home,” Fernandes told club media.
“We will have our fans there and they will be pushing for us, like they have been doing in the last couple of years during those tough moments.
“I expect Old Trafford to be as it has been in the big games, the other games, and I think the point of change of this team was the Liverpool game.
“I think the fans will be like that again and even better. They will give us a big push.”
That win over Liverpool came after the disappointing defeats to Brighton and Brentford at the start of the season, but we’ve won 20 of 25 games since, making Ten Hag the quickest manager to reach that amount of victories in the club’s history.
Although the Reds have recovered well and are still competing on four fronts - the only side in England who can currently say that - Fernandes is keen to emphasise that our objectives have not been met yet and the team must continue the work if we are to make this a successful season.
“After those two games, everyone has been talking about that for a long time, for us it is still in our mind because we shouldn't have started the season in that way,” our no.8 added.
“We obviously deserved, at the time, for the teams to beat us but we should, and could, have done better in those two games and, if anything, the reaction of the team from now until then, it has to carry on.
“We haven't achieved anything yet and we know that there is a long way still [to go] and we are in the right direction, so we must follow that direction and take instructions from the manager and keep the good vibes, good moments, good performances and good spirit in the group.
“Doing the best, our best for ourselves, for our team-mates and our team, our manager, our staff and mainly for our club and our fans.”