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Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issues strong response to Bruno Fernandes criticism

Fernandes Solskjaer

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Fernandes came in for some criticism for his performance against Liverpool.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has launched a stout defence of star man Bruno Fernandes ahead of the club’s trip to Fulham on Wednesday.

Fernandes has started all but one of United’s league games this season, and while he has scored 11 goals and contributed seven assists, the Portuguese playmaker endured a sub-par afternoon in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

Fernandes Solskjaer

Fernandes missed one of United’s two presentable chances in the second half and cut a disgruntled figure when he was replaced by Mason Greenwood in the closing stages.

United retained their position at the Premier League’s summit by drawing the hyped-up clash at Anfield but may find themselves behind neighbours Manchester City by the time they next kick a ball.

United, who are two points clear of City, face Fulham at 8.15pm on Wednesday night with Pep Guardiola’s men able to leapfrog Solskjaer’s side if they beat Aston Villa at home in the 6pm kick-off.

“His form is very good, he was just voted Player of the Month,” Solskjaer told reporters on Tuesday when asked about Fernandes.

“He’s not tired, no, no chance. He is one of the players that runs and covers the ground in every single game, he’s very good at recovering and recharging his batteries.

“If he scored his free-kick or if it just had a little air on the ball when Luke put the cross in he’d have been lauded as the best player in Premier League again.

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“Since he’s come in, he’s been absolutely immense. He’s not tired and if I ask him he’ll say there’s absolutely no chance that he’s tired.”

“He’s expected to create goals, score goals and sometimes the margins are against him. That free kick, I saw that one in!

“There were a couple of passes that he played through and it was marginal as to whether the player was on or off.”

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While Solskjaer admitted that some players may leave United during this month’s transfer window, he offered a positive assessment of new recruit Amad Diallo, who has just joined from Atalanta.

“Very good,” said Solskjaer when asked about his first impression of the teenage winger.

“He can handle the ball, he’s enjoyed training, he makes a difference in training, which is quite remarkable at his age.

“So yeah, some adjustment to settle into the hustle and bustle or the physical part of the Premier League, but I can’t see it being too long until he’s in the squad.”

“It might be quicker than that,” added the Norwegian when asked if it will be four or five weeks before Diallo makes a matchday squad.

“Who knows? He’s definitely settled down well, the players have taken to him and he’s a good character. Very polite, smiley boy, who works really hard.

“He’s doing his sessions, getting used to us. Of course, there’s always a period of adjustment needed but he’s settling in well.”

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