EPL

Man Utd matchwinner Fernandes: Criticism part of the job

By Sports Desk April 24, 2024

Bruno Fernandes said Manchester United's players cannot afford to get annoyed by outside criticism, after he scored twice to fire the Red Devils to a much-needed win over Sheffield United.

Erik ten Hag's team were roundly criticised for their performance in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City, as they surrendered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 before inching through in a penalty shoot-out.

They had also gone four Premier League games without a win (three draws, one defeat) prior to Wednesday's meeting with the rock-bottom Blades, with their hopes of Champions League football all-but over.

They twice trailed as Sheffield United threatened a huge upset, but Fernandes scored twice and supplied an assist as they fought back to claim a 4-2 win.

Asked whether the noise around Sunday's semi-final win had affected the mood at Old Trafford, Fernandes told Sky Sports: "That's part of the job. 

"You can be in a run of games where you win eight or nine in a row, and when you lose one you know you'll be criticised. 

"Being at Manchester United demands winning every game, so it's part of the job. If there is anyone in the dressing room still not used to that, they will get used to it!

"Being a Manchester United player demands being ready to receive as much criticism as praise. We receive praise when we do good things so we can't be annoyed by the criticism.

"When people want to do that, they might have a point. We can think in a different way, but we have to take it in the same way as we take the credit they give us."

Ten Hag's team did look disjointed for long periods on Wednesday, though, and they have now conceded 50 Premier League goals this season.

The Red Devils have now shipped a half-century of goals in two of their last three Premier League campaigns, having done so just once in their previous 29.

Ten Hag, though, was content with most aspects of their performance, saying: "It was a good game for the crowd, they saw four goals and many chances that we created.

"I think we played quite well, we created many more chances, so there's many positives. But also negatives. Conceding two goals from giveaways, that's unacceptable.

"We want to play dynamic, attacking football. That is what we want to see. Since the winter we have created lots of chances and also scored a lot of those chances."

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