Fred focusing on good times ahead with United
Fred has recently shown his best form in a Manchester United shirt and the Brazilian is determined to further improve his displays on the pitch to help the team.
In an exclusive interview with MUTV's Mark Sullivan, the midfielder reflected on his recent performances, his partnership with Scott McTominay and his hopes for club and country in 2020...
Firstly, Fred, you’ve had a good run in the side in the last few months – how are you feeling?
"I’m really happy to have had this consistent run in the team, it’s been really important for me to go onto the pitch and make a contribution. I had two of my best performances against Tottenham and Manchester City, and I think I’ve grown and improved. I’m really happy that I can help the team. I hope that continues and we can look to win all the cups we’re in."
Your partnership with Scott McTominay has been working – how much have you enjoyed working alongside him?
"It’s really important that we play well together in those midfield positions. It’s really important that we understand each other, understand our positioning and understand our roles when we have possession… it’s a really important partnership and I hope it can continue because it will only be good for Manchester United."
Paul Pogba is now back from injury – how big a boost is it to have him available again?
"It’s really important Paul is back, he’s an amazing player. It’s really good for the team to have him back and I believe it’s really important that we have all the players in the squad available. We’ve had the return of Paul, Diogo [Dalot], Eric [Bailly] and others… it’s great we have these players back in the squad, given the intense run of fixtures that we have. That brings us together and makes us stronger as a team."
How tough is this time of year in terms of preparation and recovery with so many games in quick succession?
"It’s tiring but it’s worth it. It’s really important to be playing in these games and, as I said before, I’m really happy to have been playing in all the games and for us to have the full squad available and players back, that’s a really positive thing for us. We have games every couple of days and we need to keep on a good run and, for me, I want to continue to show my true game and show the reason that Manchester United signed me."
The English football schedule is very different to that in Ukraine or back in Brazil – many of your friends must be on holiday at this time of year…
"[Smiles] Yes, it’s true, I’ve got a lot of friends who are players in Ukraine and they’re all in Brazil on their holidays. It’s different but, as I said, it’s good because we want to be playing a lot of games. All the other championships have a break but I like to continue to show my football and do well for United and get on the radar of the Brazilian national team. So rather than look elsewhere at what other people are doing, my maximum focus is on what’s happening here and to continue to play well."
So is that definitely a big aim of yours - to get back into the Brazilian squad?
"Of course. Every player dreams of representing their country. Unfortunately, last season I lost my place in the Brazilian national team. I wasn’t playing regularly here and was still in a process of settling in, but this season has been a lot more positive and I’ve had this continued run of games and I hope this carries on. I’ll continue to do my best and, of course, I hope to return to the national team."
Ole has said 2019 has been a mix of highs and lows – how do you look back on the year?
"It’s like he said. We have had some great games beating some big teams but then our performances have been very disappointing against some of the so-called smaller clubs. So it’s definitely been a year of ups and downs and we need to improve next year. We need to treat all games equally and go after the wins because we need to keep improving."
What are your hopes for 2020 and how do you hope to help the team find that consistency that we want?
"Firstly, I will continue to do my best to help the team win games and we want to win trophies too. I think we have a good chance in the cups – the League Cup, the FA Cup and the Europa League, which are really important for us and we’ll be looking to win these trophies. I hope to continue doing my best for the team and I hope that we can win a trophy in 2020."
Finally, what’s Christmas like in your household and how exciting a time is it for you and your family?
"It's a great time for my family and it’s my son’s first Christmas so we’ve all been really excited – myself, my wife, my son, my family and my friends who are over staying. We wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year and all the success for 2020."
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