Ten Hag breaks silence over Bruno Fernandes' Man Utd captaincy after Liverpool rout and reveals reason for 'pointing' | The Sun
MANCHESTER UNITED manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed Bruno Fernandes will "definitely" remain captain when Harry Maguire is not on the pitch.
Fernandes came under fire on Sunday after United's embarrassing 7-0 thrashing to Liverpool at Anfield after claims he asked to be substituted towards the end.
The playmaker was seen gesticulating at the bench as Anthony Elanga was brought on for Marcus Rashford with five minutes of the game remaining.
But the Portugal international has since made it clear that he was asking for clarification as to whether he should play centrally or wide after Elanga's introduction.
Ten Hag has jumped to the defence of the 28-year-old and insisted he is often "pointing" on the pitch to carry out his duties as captain and instruct his team-mates what to do.
The Dutchman has also stated he is very happy with the ex-Sporting Lisbon star's performances this season and will still wear the armband.
Read More on Man Utd
We HATE living near a major footie ground – it’s a nightmare & we’re being forced out
Win an incredible Rolex Batman or £12k cash alternative from just 89p
When asked if Fernandes will stay as captain, Ten Hag said: "Yes, definitely. I think he's playing a brilliant season, he's played an important role in the position that we are.
"He's giving energy to the team, running a lot with intensity, in the right way.
"He's pointing and coaching players, he's an inspiration for the whole team. No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes.
"I'm really happy to have Bruno Fernandes in my team and I'm happy with him as our captain with Harry not on the pitch."
Most read in Football
Man City ace Kyle Walker filmed drunkenly groping & snogging woman
Dortmund fans storm Stamford Bridge barriers before Chelsea clash
Watford SACK manager Slaven Bilic and appoint Chris Wilder until end of season
How Arsenal could line up next season with frontline to conquer Europe
BETTING SPECIAL – BEST FOOTBALL BETTING SITES IN THE UK
Rashford also defended his team-mate, whom he described as the "perfect player" to play with.
Rashford echoed his manager’s words and hailed his teammate’s leadership.
The England striker said: “I love playing with Bruno, for a forward like me he’s a perfect player to play with. He’s been a good leader for us even when he’s not been captain, which is always a good sign. “He’s helped other players become better leaders.
“He’s done a lot in terms of bringing his leadership skills in, that was from the moment he arrived.
“Like the manager said, nobody is perfect, sometimes you want to win so bad you end up doing things a little out of character. As a team we have to support him because he’s a fantastic player.”
Rashford has also denied claims that United just gave up in the second-half at Liverpool as they conceded six goals.
He said: “We didn’t give up, that’s nonsense. We were unorganised, communication was bad, that’s why we conceded the goals.
“But I believe everyone was trying to get back into the game that much, we came away from the principles too much, the forwards were trying to press as a unit but we weren’t connected with the midfield.
“We were trying to get a grip of the game at 2-0 and 3-0, we were talking but we weren’t in agreement with what to do, it’s happened, we can learn from it and move on. I’m happy and grateful we have another game quickly because we have an opportunity to take a step forward.”
Rashford admitted, however, that the scars of that defeat have cut deep.
He said: “Losing against Liverpool is enough, the scoreline doesn’t matter when you lose a game against any of your biggest rivals it cuts deep, it’s not nice and it’s never a nice feeling.
“But we can’t dwell on it and look back, we have to be thankful games are coming thick and fast. We’re in a position where we’re still fighting on all fronts, when we have a game like that we want to play again as soon as possible to put it right.”
Ten Hag also shielded the rest of his team insisting they are all on the "same boat".
The 53-year-old tactician insists United are only focused on "bouncing back".
Read More on The Sun
Shoppers are going wild for Asda’s mega sale where PJs are scanning for £3
Dog trainer reveals three breeds he’d never advise for a first-time dog owner
When asked whether players let him down against Liverpool, Ten Hag said: "No, we are in the same boat, we do it together. We win and lose together.
"We made a mess on Sunday and we have to deal with that. We have to set conclusions and we talked about [it]. We have seen the game, we have to reset and bounce back."
Source: Read Full Article