Ole explains why Bruno could not start

Sunday 21 March 2021 20:13

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it’s simply not possible for every player to play every minute of every game and he felt Bruno Fernandes needed a break from starting, as the boss reflected on Sunday’s disappointing FA Cup defeat at Leicester City.

The United manager made five changes to the side which started our Europa League win in Milan on Thursday as fit-again Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba started the quarter-final clash.

Fernandes was one of four substitutes who were introduced, all at once, in the second half of our 3-1 Cup defeat at the King Power Stadium, but unfortunately the hosts secured the win.

Afterwards in his press conference, Ole was asked about his decision to start Fernandes on the bench and detailed the efforts put in by the Portugal international.

Fernandes is our running man of 2020/21


Sunday's win underlined why there is so much more to Bruno's game than the phenomenal number of goals and assists.

“Every team selection has reasons behind it. Bruno has played very, very much football. He broke all his records on Thursday night [at the San Siro] physically statistically, and the boy is not inhuman,” explained Ole.

“He’s also a human being, he’s played a game every three or four days really. It was a chance to start to both Donny [van de Beek] and Paul [Pogba]. The accumulation of games maybe caught up with us.

“I know Bruno wants to play but sometimes you make decisions for the benefit of both the team and him.”

Bruno has been a driving force for the Reds since signing from Sporting Lisbon last year and, famously, always wants to play and help the team.

His efforts have been extraordinary again of late, recording those high running stats against AC Milan and also working tirelessly until the very end of the vital victory over West Ham United in our last Premier League outing.

Leicester 3 United 1: Ole's press conference Video

Leicester 3 United 1: Ole's press conference

Watch how the boss answered journalists' questions about the team and our performance at the King Power Stadium...

There is likely to be no break for Fernandes as he has been called up to the Portugal squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Fernando Santos's team face Azerbaijan on Wednesday, Serbia on Saturday and Luxembourg next Tuesday.