Bruno Fernandes knows faltering Manchester United are falling short of expectations but the midfielder is not reading too much into the galling back-to-back losses of recent days.
October kicked-off with a chastening 6-1 home loss to Tottenham but ended with a 5-0 shellacking of last season’s Champions League semi-finalists RB Leipzig, having won away to star-studded Paris St Germain the week before.
November also got off to negative start, with Sunday’s 1-0 home loss to Arsenal leaving them 15th in the Premier League standings and compounded by Wednesday’s shock 2-1 loss at unfancied Istanbul Basaksehir.
The performance was as alarming as the result in Turkey, which has ratcheted up the pressure on manager Solskjaer and increased talk over a move for highly-rated former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.
But Fernandes is not buying into the negativity – nor, it appears, are the United hierarchy right now – and the midfielder is confident of turning things around.
“I think of course after two defeats it’s hard to think or say something about this,” the Portuguese said when asked about confidence being knocked.
“But I think we need to look one week ago. Everyone was talking about we’re going well, we’re doing amazing games.
“We won against Newcastle, we won against Paris, we beat Leipzig. We draw against Chelsea in one game when we can win.
“But of course the points we have in the league is not the points we want.
“Today was important for us winning the game to be comfortable in the table. And, of course, making one or a few points again we (would have almost) passed the group.
“But now it’s the same, we need to do the same: going for every game, trying to win, and it will not be different now in the Champions League.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 4, 2020
“We are in a good position. Of course in the league we are not in a good position – we all know that.
“We need to do much better, and we need to do something more than say ‘do something in the next game’ already because it will be a difficult game for us. Our focus now needs to be already there.”
United’s trip to Everton on Saturday lunchtime is a crunch match that can dictate the narrative that carries through the international break.
Victory would be a welcome shot in the arm after the loss to Arsenal and an alarming defeat in Istanbul, where Solskjaer labelled the schoolboy defending “unforgivable”.
Demba Ba’s opener is one of the most embarrassing goals United have conceded in years and they did not cover themselves in glory when captain Edin Visca added a second before half-time.
35-year-old Demba Ba scores against Manchester United on a one-man counter-attack…
Yes, this really happened 🤯 pic.twitter.com/YCDqlFqbyj
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 4, 2020
“Of course, today is a bad game,” Fernandes told MUTV after a match in which they failed to add to Anthony Martial’s header. “Everything goes wrong. We did everything wrong.
“The intensity was not good since the beginning of the game. They found a goal early and after the game was complicated for us.
“We tried until the end but the problem was I think we came later into the game.
“I think we can do much better. Everyone feels that.
“We know we can’t concede goals like that, but now it’s time to look what we did wrong to make it better in the next game.”