Bruno Fernandes has hit back at critics claiming he goes missing in games against Manchester United’s major rivals, insisting his overall contribution shows his value to the side.
United take on local rivals Manchester City today, hoping they can narrow the gap on the Premier League pacesetters to 11 points and end their incredible 22-match winning run which stretches across all competitions.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will turn towards Fernandes for inspiration in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium, but his goal contribution has been poor against the rest of the so-called ‘Big Six’ this season, which includes City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
From open play, Fernandes has failed to score against United’s rivals across seven Premier League games this term, but when speaking about his goal scoring record claimed it did not matter where or when his goal contributions come.
“I don’t know what people mean by ‘top six’, because the teams are in top six in the table,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘I score and assist against some of them. I score this season against Tottenham. But some people say penalties don’t count!
“I know people expect Bruno to score or assist in every game because when I arrived, I was playing really well. If you see my stats, everyone is thinking that Bruno has to score in every game, Bruno has to assist in every game.
“I want to do that – it’s the most important thing. But as a player, I don’t look for the ‘Big Six’ or the rest of the league. I look for every game in the same way. And I think the league is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So you don’t have to score or win against the ‘Big Six’ – you have to score and win against everyone.
‘I see people talking about Bruno not doing so well against the ‘Big Six’. People have said Bruno gives the ball away too many times when we lose a game.
“Also, in the game against Basaksehir, I scored two goals and I lost more balls than their team, but people said I was the best player in the game. So, what is the point?
“But I agree the last two games, I didn’t play very well. And I don’t need to see the stats to see if I play well or not. I know when I play well or not.’
Stats suggest he has struggled when United come up against their ‘Big Six’ rivals, especially in front of goal.
Culled from Dailymail.co.uk