Bruno Fernandes’ demands of Man Utd teammates leave Solskjaer delighted

Bruno Fernandes has been at Manchester United for well over a month now and still does not know what it is like to lose.

Considering the record of his team before he joined up, the odds against that particular statistic would have been fairly long.

But in six starts and one substitute’s appearance, Fernandes has seen his side win four matches and draw three, conceding only twice.

Before the Portuguese midfielder’s debut, United had won their previous two games but there is no doubting his transformative influence at Old Trafford.

And now, United fans are seeing an increasingly vocal Fernandes unafraid to call out his team-mates if he feels they need to step up a gear.

His manager is not surprised.

“Bruno has come in as a leader and he has shown he is a leader,” declared Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“He is a winner. He does not take 99 percent as good enough.”

And the 25-year-old is now confident enough to let others know if they are one percent short.

Solskjaer said: “I like to see that in a player. He doesn’t change coming into a new team.

“He is the same as he was at Sporting and that is a boy with confidence, with quality and good form.

“That is his personality. He is allowed to be himself, everyone should be allowed to be themselves.”

Fernandes will play in his first Manchester derby on Sunday and Solskjaer believes his star January signing will be looking to step up on his performance against Derby on Thursday night.

The United manager said: “He will probably know that he must do better against City.”

But Fernandes will be key to United giving their neighbours a rare tough time at Old Trafford.

United’s last victory in this Premier League fixture came in April, 2015 and they have lost six and drawn only one of the last eight.

Solskjaer does have two derby victories at the Etihad on his record this season but the game that will be clearest in the memories of home supporters this weekend will be the 3-1 Carabao Cup first leg defeat when City tore their rivals apart in a one-sided first half at Old Trafford.

“We were played off the park for 15 minutes,” admitted Solskjaer. “Our heads went for a spell, thinking that we had to recover the game in 10 minutes when you don’t have to.

“We have learnt from that one, definitely.

"When you are at home and have to open up against a team like Man City, they will exploit that if you are not 100 percent and sometimes being at home you want to show your fans what you can do and you open too many spaces and that’s what we did in those 15 or 20 or however many minutes after they scored a worldie.

“We have got to control our emotions more and we have learnt. That is an experience we will bring into this game.”

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