Bruno: I was confident stepping up
Match-winner Fernandes discusses free-kicks, form and giving the fans a victory to savour...
Bruno, the manager told us you’ve been practising free-kicks in training? “I think almost every day. Sometimes he has to kick me out of the training to stop. I’m always working on that kind of situation. I like to watch and learn from Juan [Mata] because I think he is a really good specialist. I think in training we stay there most of the time - me and Juan stay longer, but also Alex [Telles], Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Fred also stays with us - but I think it’s only to have fun for Fred.” So you were always going to take it? It was always going to be you? “No, no! I think normally a little bit more long distance is for Rashy. I think he feels more comfortable [from there], for me it is the same, to go the [closer] distance. I think closer to the box is better for me, for the kind of shot I have. Of course, if Juan and Alex are on the pitch it’s a chance for them, more on the right side. I think we have good free-kick specialists. I think we have some players who can take [good free-kicks]. It will depend on the moment. In that moment, I felt I was confident to take the free-kick. It was me and luckily it was a goal.” It was a great game to watch. Were you itching to get on and get involved? “Of course. I think the first half was really good. It was a really good game for both parts. I think [it was a] very good game to watch. Two teams trying to win, playing good football, good pressure from both sides, quality from both sides. I think for the ones that are watching at home, it was a good game.” What would it have been like in here with a full house with a fixture like this? “I think with this result, with a goal in the last minute, it would be really good. I think the fans would love it.” How much is this competition - obviously we’re going for the league - but how important is this cup competition? “They are all important for us. We have to go in the same way, whatever competition you play. You play them to win, so it’s not different to play this one or the league. Of course, everyone knows winning the league is more special, but for us players it is about winning trophies. This is a trophy and we want to win.” 𠊊nd another home game in the next round. I suppose that’s all you can hope for? West Ham, in just a couple of weeks… “We are here for that. We want to play… if you play every three days, it is because you are in lots of competitions and you have the chance to win trophies.” Do you feel like you have the momentum - every three days that we’re playing but do you feel like you have a bit of momentum going into these games? “I think we have a really good team and a really good squad. You have options and I think if you look at the bench today and the first XI, and the ones who are at home. I think it will not be an option if we change the team, if someone is tired because we have really good players. You see today we have players like Donny [van de Beek] who was not playing for a while and he did a really great game for me. I think playing in the position I normally play in, I think he moves really good. [In the] first half he has a little more of the ball and he played really, really well. I think it’s important for us and for everyone to understand that everyone wants to play. Maybe if I was in the position of Donny, for example, I would not be happy at all. But the most important is coming in today, do the best he can and help the team.”