Bruno Fernandes is seemingly at odds with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after appearing to disagree with his manager’s philosophy on winning trophies.
So far Manchester United have fallen short in the silverware stakes since Fernandes’ arrival, suffering elimination at the semi-final stage of competitions three times already.
Solskjaer was keen to play down their importance last month when he suggested “sometimes it’s more of an ego thing from other managers and clubs to finally win something.”
But that view appears to be contrary to Fernandes’ thinking, who believes they are paramount to a club’s ambition.
“We can’t think of anything else at this club. United is made for trophies and the whole mood is around that,” the Portuguese midfielder told FourFourTwo .
“We reached the semis [of the League Cup] and lost to City, but that’s not enough. That wasn’t our time – we need to be in finals, and to win them.”
United were dumped out of the FA Cup by Leicester a fortnight ago – a match where Solskjaer opted to rest Fernandes by starting him on the bench.
The Red Devils’ boss previously affirmed his belief that collecting silverware was not necessarily a reflection of progress, stating: “Sometimes a cup competition can hide the fact you’re still struggling a little bit.”
Nevertheless, a trophy would go down well with the fans, and certainly appease any continued doubters of Solskjaer’s capability as a manager, particularly if he can break his United duck by landing the Europa League this season.
It would be a feather in the cap for Fernandes too, who is desperate to have something to show for his invaluable contribution to United thus far.
But while he doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with Solskjaer on the trophy front, he credits his boss for providing the perfect platform for him to showcase his talent.
“He simply told me to be myself. To enjoy it, to play my own game,” Fernandes added. “He said that he’d watched me for Sporting and that he wanted the same Bruno here – someone who tried to lead the team.
“It was important that the club trusted me to be me.”
This month’s FourFourTwo is in shops on Wednesday, April 7 and has a 10 page interview with Manchester United forward Bruno Fernandes. Also in this issue, The Football League Top 50, an interview with Leeds star Raphinha and former Spurs star Steven Caulker opens up. For a special Reach subscription offer of three issues of FourFourTwo for £3: www.magazinesdirect.com/fft/81av