Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says captain Bruno Fernandes is an “inspiration to the team” after his attitude was criticised in the 7-0 Premier League defeat by Liverpool. A visibly frustrated Fernandes appeared to push the referee’s assistant in the 81st minute at Anfield.
Ten Hag said Portugal midfielder Fernandes will remain captain despite calls for him to lose the armband. “He is playing a brilliant season,” said Ten Hag. “He has played a big role in us being where we are. Everyone makes mistakes and we learn. I have to learn and he will as well. “He is intelligent. I’m really pleased he is our player and he is captain when Harry (Maguire) is not playing.”
Former United captain Gary Neville said Fernandes’ behaviour was “embarrassing” and ex-Blackburn striker Chris Sutton said United had “people far better qualified to be captain”. The defeat was United’s joint-heaviest in a competitive game, while victory was Liverpool’s biggest against their rivals. United conceded six goals in the second half and Ten Hag said after the match that his side were “unprofessional” and “lost our heads”.
Former England defender Neville questioned Fernandes gesturing to the bench when Marcus Rashford was substituted in the 85th minute.