Revealed: What Ole told Bruno to do at United
Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes takes risks on the pitch and it has reaped dividends ever since he joined the Reds in January.
The Portugal international has been a huge hit at Old Trafford and will be expected to play a leading role in Sunday's Europa League semi-final against Sevilla, following his winner from the penalty spot against FC Copenhagen in the previous round.
It would be unfair to describe Bruno as somebody for the big occasion, as he has been the main man in most of his matches in the red shirt, playing with freedom and a desire to get on the ball and make things happen. Not only that, but our no.18 has quickly become a leader in the dressing and is constantly demanding more from his colleagues.
After such a great start to life in English football, Bruno was asked what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said to him upon his arrival from Sporting Lisbon, during an interview with UEFA.com.
“The manager was very specific,” he said.
“He told me to not be afraid, to just be myself, that he knew full well why he had sought me out and what I was capable of doing, to continue to take risks in a match, and to maintain the same mentality that I had at Sporting.
“To follow in the same vein as I had been doing at Sporting - the fact that I became captain, a leader, to communicate what we had to do on the pitch. He told me to continue what I was doing, to keep giving instructions on the pitch.
“He realised that was something instinctive about me – to give instructions to my team-mates on what we can do better in the match,” the Portuguese playmaker added.
“He told me to continue to do that, to do what I think was best to do during the match, like I did at Sporting, so that I can help the team as best as possible.
“He was right, but it’s more important to win to be proven right, I hope.”
When asked to define his role in the side, the 25-year-old gave a detailed response and one that offers an insight into his thirst to achieve more with the Reds. With the attacking talent ahead of him in the side, he knows this could only be the start of a fruitful career with the club.
“It’s difficult to describe everything about a player’s role, they all have their own roles, don’t they?” he said.
“I think that the most important aspect of my role is to help out my team-mates as best as I can. From a defensive point of view, I try to help them out when they need me to.
“When we lose the ball, I try to be the first one to react and to call on the other attacking players to help out in winning back possession. And, obviously, for me, to be able to build up the play, to have the ball and provide passes to my team-mates to enable them to score goals – it’s very important.
Reds in Cologne: Behind the scenesVideo
“And I think that’s what I need to do a bit more because, yes, I’ve provided some assists but I think that I could have provided more, given the quality we have up front,” he said, with great honesty.
“Had they been provided better service, they would have scored more goals than they have so far, even though they’ve all had a great season and we combine really well together.
“I believe that I can provide more assists, that I can improve on my numbers given the quality we have up front.”
Hard graft in the heat Gallery
With temperatures still high in Cologne, the Reds have been sweating it out before Sevilla on Sunday.
Bruno is also clear about lifting the trophy in Cologne if Sevilla and either Internazionale or Shakhtar Donetsk can be overcome.
“We need to win it because this club needs trophies and I think that all the players, myself included, have to get used to winning trophies for the club so we can experience what winning a trophy for Manchester United feels like and to give us a boost going into next season,” he declared.
“Of course, it would be extremely good. It wouldn’t be perfect because I think that this club deserves even more because of the players it has. Everybody knows that, in recent years, things have been difficult but I believe that this club has all the qualities needed to be successful and, right now, we have a team that could give even more to the club than what we have given this season.”
With statements like these, it is easy to see why Bruno Fernandes is already adored by the United fans, even before helping to deliver any silverware for his new club.
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