Bruno Fernandes says Manchester United’s performances have not been ‘good enough’, but insists that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing ‘a really good job’.
Manchester United are currently fifth in the Premier League and eight points adrift of league leaders Chelsea, with Solskjaer having come under increasing pressure following a series of disappointing performances – particularly after last month’s 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool.
The Red Devils have since responded with a 3-0 win at Tottenham last weekend and a 2-2 draw away at Atalanta in the Champions League, and will be hoping to continue their momentum ahead of Saturday’s derby clash with Manchester City at Old Trafford.
Ahead of the game, Fernandes has discussed his side’s challenging start to the season and has praised Solskjaer, insisting the players must take their share of the blame for the disappointments of the campaign to date.
“He’s a great, great person and I think everyone knows the human part of him,” Fernandes told Sky Sports.
“I think it’s normal people get upset because the results don’t come but it’s too easy to blame it on the coach, we go on the pitch, we should do better.
“With the second place last season no one was expecting us to do a really good season like we did. It was not as good as we want but it was a good season after all after everything what everyone was thinking.
“No one was expecting us [to finish second], okay top four probably, but not second place and be the most close one to fight with City.
“For me, overall he’s doing a really good job and it’s been a big improvement on the team since he arrived.
“We’re still dropping points at home and it’s not good enough, and we know that, but it’s not only the coach’s fault.”
United have been nothing short of defensively woeful at times this season, particularly in the loss to Liverpool, and Fernandes insisted that his side must ‘defend well as a team’ against City this weekend.
“It doesn’t mean anything for us, what was in the past. The result against Liverpool, Tottenham or Atalanta will serve for nothing in this one, because it’s a completely different team – a completely different way to play,” Fernandes told Sky Sports.
“It’s a particular game where any moment can change. You can prepare the way you want but the individual has to do something special in this kind of game. For our side, the City side, you can solve these games on a player making a good thing.
“For us it is, ‘stick to the plan’, defend well. ‘Don’t concede goals’ is the main point for us because we know we have goals in the squad and players who can score. If we don’t concede, we will score at any moment.
“The main point for us is to defend well as a team. We proposed to everyone in the dressing room after that defeat against Liverpool that we cannot concede so many goals. David de Gea has been brilliant for us, making many, many saves and still we conceded a lot of goals in many, many games.
“We have to protect him and everyone has to protect the ones behind: the forwards have to protect the midfielders, the midfielders protect the defenders, and the defenders protect the goalkeeper. At the end we will protect ourselves from conceding goals and the quality we have on the team, at any moment we can score goals and we will.”