Bruno Fernandes has hailed Erik ten Hag’s “strict” management style and believes the Dutchman’s clear philosophy can lead Manchester United back to success.
Ten Hag has had a positive start to his new job since replacing caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick in April, with United beating Liverpool in pre-season in their first game before also overseeing wins over Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace in Australia.
Fernandes, who has impressed in those friendlies, hailed the 52-year-old’s no-nonsense, no-nonsense approach and said his ruthless attitude keeps the whole squad on their toes.
“He wants his rules, he demands a lot from us and he wants everyone on the same page to do the same things,” Fernandes said. Sky Sports News ahead of Saturday’s friendly against Aston Villa in Perth.
“Everyone knows they have to push from the same side and otherwise they will be out of the team. That’s a good thing because if you want to be successful as a team you always have to be the same way.
“He brings discipline but he also gives the players the freedom to make choices, but he has his own rules that we have to follow, but he also wants to give some responsibility to the older ones.
“He’s strict, he’s tough, but at the same time he’s a nice guy and easy to talk to.
“The main thing is to follow what he wants because I think he has a straight line he wants to have with the team and I want to follow that straight line because I think we can succeed that way. .
“If everyone understands that we have to follow the rules, follow what the coach asks and what the team asks, everyone will be on the same page, that’s what will make the success of the game. ‘crew.
“I think everyone will be happy at the end of the season if we can do everything they want us to do.”
“Ten Hag’s philosophy is clear”
Tasked with overseeing a major rebuild at Old Trafford, Ten Hag’s meticulous work has been evident in United’s pre-season so far.
At the start of their 4-0 friendly win over Liverpool, it was clear that the principles Ten Hag had instilled in his players – sharper reaction, security in transition, confidence on the ball and cohesion without him – had been heeded. . .
When asked if the team could already feel the difference in his style of play, Fernandes replied: “I think it’s clear. He explains very well what he wants and he demands that no one does anything. not what he asks know that he will be punished.
“So I think when you talk about discipline, it’s about that. He’s very clear, so you can’t get away from it. Even if you don’t understand English, you can understand the way he wants. play, so I think that’s really important to us.
“No one can get away with anything with him and the senior players have to play their part too, making sure everyone is on the same page.”
Ten Hag: Man Utd need to strengthen with good players
Erik ten Hag believes new signings are “vital” if his first season at Manchester United is to be a success.
Tyrell Malacia was the only new face on a pre-season trip that culminates in Saturday’s friendly against Aston Villa in Perth, but deals for Christian Erikson and Lisandro Martinez were hit while in Australia.
“We are signing Eriksen for the midfield department,” the United boss said. “We are really happy about that.
“Yes, I’m really happy with the performance of our midfield and our attacking department at the moment, but I also know that this season is made up of a lot of games, the World Cup, so we need more options where you have a good team.
“And it’s not just a question of the team, it takes a good team to get the right results at the end of the season. So we have to strengthen the team even more and we look around, but we have also need the right players.”
Bruno hopes to restore faith in United
Fernandes took the lead after moving to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, scoring 12 goals and registering eight assists in 22 appearances before the end of the 2020/21 season.
However, the last campaign was disappointing by Portuguese standards. He managed 10 goals against 28 the previous season, but he is determined to justify the new five-year contract he signed in March.
“When I arrived the club was criticized and the results weren’t the best, so when I arrived, but not because of me, the team started getting better results,” he said. declared.
“Last season as a team it wasn’t successful, so individually it’s hard to be successful. I was trying the same way to improve the team, but obviously it was a tough season. for everyone and hard to succeed individually because the results weren’t there.
Man Utd’s next five fixtures
- Aston Villa (N) – Friendly, Saturday July 23, kick-off 10.45am
- Atletico Madrid (N) – Friendly, Saturday July 30, kick-off at 12:45 p.m.
- Rayo Vallecano (H) – Friendly, Sunday July 31, kick-off 4 p.m.
- Brighton (H) – Premier League, Sunday August 7, kick-off at 2 p.m., live on Sky Sports
- Brentford (A) – Premier League, Saturday August 13, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
“As soon as the team is doing well and getting good results, it will make me happy and my game will be much better.
“I know everyone expects so much from me because my first season was amazing and last season I only scored 10 goals and 14 assists. I know I can do much better than that.
“I’m happy with what I’ve done at the club and the new contract shows that the club respects me and trusts me, and it’s time for me to pay it back.
“I’m an emotional player and an emotional person. I criticize myself too much and sometimes I need to calm down a bit, but that’s the way it is. I don’t like to lose but I don’t try to blame myself. try to see what I can do better for the team to improve.
“I speak with the manager and he asks me how I feel about the game plan and I told him that I had a coach at Sporting Lisbon (Marcel Keizer) who also came from Ajax and the way of doing was pretty similar and I had my best season with him.
“So for me it’s about following the rules [Ten Hag] wants, according to his requirements and my game will come naturally. The main thing for me is that the team succeeds.”
“The struggles were not due to Ronaldo”
Fernandes was also asked about the impact of United and Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks.
Ronaldo, 37, has told the club he wants to leave to play Champions League football and has not joined the squad for their pre-season tour starting in Thailand, citing family issues.
Asked if one of the problems of last season was the fact that United’s style changed to suit Ronaldo after the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s return to Old Trafford, Fernandes replied. : “No, I do not think so.
“I’m there to serve my strikers and I think we’ve had an incredible start to the season. When Cristiano arrived he scored two goals in his first game and I scored one and after that I scored many goals while playing with Cristiano.
“I think all my goals I was playing alongside Cristiano, so I don’t think that’s the problem at all.
“I play with him for Portugal and that will never be the problem because good players can agree anytime and anytime.”
Man Utd schedule: Ten Hag debut v Brighton on Sky
Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League game as Manchester United manager will be against Brighton at Old Trafford, live on sky sportsduring the opening Super Sunday of the 2022/23 season.
After taking on Graham Potter’s Seagulls on Sunday August 7, live on sky sports, United travel to Brentford in the second round of fixtures before hosting rivals Liverpool in a blockbuster early-season clash on the weekend of August 20.
United’s trip to the Etihad Stadium for the first Manchester derby of the season on October 1 kicks off a daunting month that sees Ten Hag’s side travel to Everton and Chelsea and host Tottenham, Newcastle and West Ham.
The last game before the season break for the Winter World Cup will be against Fulham on the weekend of 12/13 November. United then return to action on Boxing Day at Fulham. 2023 will be opened with a home game against promoted Bournemouth. Premier League champions Manchester City are next at Old Trafford on January 14, the return trip to Anfield on March 4, while United conclude their season at home to Fulham on May 28.
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