Bruno Fernandes has opened up on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s influence within the Manchester United dressing room – and the message which sparked his stunning first 15 months with the club.
Signed from Sporting last January, the Portugal international has become a talisman at Old Trafford and has been one of the Premier League ’s standout players in his first full season.
In total, Fernandes has a staggering 57 goal involvements in just 68 games, with his only disappointment so far that he has failed to win a trophy.
If that is to change this season, United must win the Europa League, with the first leg of their quarter-final tie with Spanish outfit Granada on Thursday.
Fernandes has shown in recent weeks just how determined he is to bring silverware to the club and appeared to exchange some cross words with his manager in their most recent victory, a 2-1 win over Brighton.
But there’s clearly no hard feelings from the midfielder, who has outlined just how important the Norwegian has been in his own development.
“For every player in the team, he [Solskjaer] is influential,” Fernandes told talkSPORT. “At the beginning he was important because he told me to express myself, don’t be afraid to do what I was doing at Sporting and to be myself, and that is really important for a player to feel that confidence from the coach.”
Along with Solskjaer, Fernandes has heaped praise on his assistant Michael Carrick, revealing he is learning a lot from the former Red Devils midfielder.
He added: “He was a top player and he can help to improve every player here.
“We have a lot to learn from him. I really appreciated his qualities as a player and now I am happy to have him as a coach to help me to improve and pass on his experience as a player.”
United go into the game against Granada as the heavy favourites, but Solskjaer has insisted there will be no complacency from his players as they look to end the trophy drought under his guidance.
“I watched the games and I have spoken to some people to get insights. They’re a team full of experience,” he explained. “Full of character and experience which you expect from teams who have been promoted recently.
“There’s important games for us before the end of the season and the Euros. Complacency? No. Granada beating Napoli, getting through the group and then beating Molde is a sign of a team that has quality. We have set our eyes on the final.”
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