Ten Hag's hope for Fernandes

Thursday 01 February 2024 08:00

Erik ten Hag says he hopes Bruno Fernandes will be at Manchester United for many years to come, after the skipper celebrated the fourth anniversary of his arrival at Old Trafford.

During an exclusive club media interview to preview tonight's Premier League match at Wolves (20:15 GMT kick-off), the manager spoke about his skipper, the positive state of his squad and the need to push on this month.

Check out every word of what he had to say to MUTV's Mark Sullivan below...

Matchday Q&A: Ten Hag on Wolves (A) Video

Matchday Q&A: Ten Hag on Wolves (A)

Matchday Q&A | Erik explains why he is optimistic ahead of our Molineux mission...

We’re back to league action tomorrow, Erik, so how is the squad looking for the trip to Wolves?
“So, very hopeful. We have some players back. We have seen on Sunday, returning [were] Licha Martinez, Luke Shaw, Casemiro, which is very good. Also, Victor Lindelof is back into training, team training, and others like Tyrell Malacia and Mason Mount, they are on the grass. Not ready but I don’t think it takes long. The good thing is we have a strong squad and can now pick. That is the difference with many games in the autumn, in 2023, in that period we had only 11 or 12 players. That was a challenge, every time, to put 11 players on the pitch, but now we can pick a team.”

How important can that internal competition for places you have mentioned be to ensure high levels of performance?
“You see it in training. We have a smaller group but a lot of competition there. But also, a lot of quality and, when quality challenges quality, you get high levels.”
It’s four years now since Bruno Fernandes signed for United and he made his debut - against Wolves funnily enough. How big a role does he have on the field and also off it?
“First, he is our captain and I think he often gives the right example, by his attitude in training and in games. He always brings the energy for the team and, yeah, he’s very important for us, by creating chances. So it’s a pleasure to work with him. I hope he will play many more years for Manchester United.”

The games against Wolves have been very close and our opponents come into this one on a seven-match unbeaten run. So how do you see it playing out?
“We have to prove ourselves. As you say, their form is good but I’m quite optimistic. When we play to our levels, we have seen we can beat Aston Villa, go toe to toe with Spurs, toe to toe with Liverpool. But also, on our worst days, like Forest, we play below our limits. So we have to find a way to be more consistent. That is the responsibility for the team and for every individual player who contributes to the team.”

Ten Hag reveals team news


The boss delivers an update on his plans for the Premier League clash at Wolves.

We've only played one league game so far this year, but now we have two in four days and five in February altogether, how important is it to start a winning run in the league?
“But, of course, that is our goal, to get a run. But don’t think too far ahead, don’t think about Sunday. Think about tomorrow, that is important. Of course, in the back of my head, there is [Sunday] to think about, but we will play tomorrow our strongest side, with no restrictions for Sunday, because, tomorrow, we have to win.”