Exclusive: Bruno previews the Manchester derby
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes can't wait for derby day to arrive, as he looks ahead to taking on City at Old Trafford in front of a full crowd for the first time since March 2020.
Fernandes, who starred in that 2-0 victory over Pep Guardiola's side just after his arrival from Sporting Lisbon - and days before the suspension of the season due to COVID-19 - admitted he just wanted to 'go to bed and sleep', so that kick-off on Saturday would come quicker.
Speaking to club reporter Zarah Connolly, our no.18 also reflected on Tuesday night's exciting 2-2 draw with Atalanta and praised the Old Trafford faithful's support this season so far.
You can read the interview transcript in full below...
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El Matador has left his mark on other derbies, and now he wants to do it in Manchester.
So Bruno, we’re coming back from that Atalanta draw, 2-2. What was it like for you?
“It was a good game. It’s always difficult to play against Atalanta. Away games are always a little bit difficult against them because they have a good intensity. They are difficult to play because they press high, they don’t give any spaces. I think, at the end, it was not the result we want, but it was the best result we can reach at the end with an amazing goal.”
It must be so good… as a fan we can see we’ve got you, we’ve got Ronaldo, we’ve got Cavani, we’ve got these amazing players that can make such a difference in the game. Does that give you confidence when you’re playing in these games?
“Of course, you know the qualities of the players we have in the squad and that makes you confident that you can win every game. Now is the time to push and start to win every game because we have the qualities to do that and we can do. So, from now, we have a big game ahead and we have to win that game. It’s the most important one yet.”
Like you say, we’ve got a big game coming up, the derby this weekend, are you looking forward to it?
“Of course, these type of games, you dream to play. Playing the derby is always special for us, for the fans, for everyone. We hope to get a really good result for everyone, to make it easier to go to the break after.”
It’s been so long since we’ve had fans at the Manchester derby. Are you looking forward to hearing that electric atmosphere in Old Trafford?
“Yeah, it’s been a long time. I think it was one of my first games I played against City at home and the atmosphere was really good. I think, from this season, I’m learning that every game has been fantastic. I don’t think it’ll be different against City because it’s almost impossible to be better than it has been in the last few games. That’s what you want. You want to have that, you want to play for Manchester United. You know the fans are amazing and they will push you until the end. They will be there for you. So that’s a good feeling we have, when we go on the pitch and know that whatever happens the supporters… as we have seen in some games, we have some bad results, they have been fantastic and are pushing at the end for us.”
What’s training been like? Is it always hard when you’re training for an intense game like the derby?
“It’s been quite normal. I think probably these last few hours will be the ones when you feel… not the pressure, but because you want to play the game. You don’t want to spend long, you want to go to bed and sleep quick so the morning will come faster. It’s easier because the game will come earlier, so I’m going to wake up, eat and go straight to the game. So it’ll be much more easier and I think it’s good for us because that adrenaline you have in the body will be high. You have to make that happen quick so you can go on the pitch and relax yourself.”
Both teams have quite strong teams, what are your thoughts going into it to try and battle their strengths?
“City is a really good team, they have such good qualities on the team. Individual players that can make a difference for them, but I’m not worried about them. I’m just focused on what we can do because I know that if we are on our highest level, we can hurt them. But we have to be at the highest level because they are really good players and it’ll be difficult. But it’ll be difficult for both teams.”