Ten Hag previews Man Utd's trip to Arsenal
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has admitted he’s delighted with the recent form of Bruno Fernandes ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal. The midfielder has bagged two goals from his last two appearances. And he’ll be hoping to continue that run at the Emirates Stadium in what could potentially be one of the biggest matches of the season.
Fernandes has endured his fair share of criticism over the past 12 months.
But the United star seems liberated following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and has netted in recent matches against Crystal Palace and Manchester City.
Now, speaking ahead of Sunday’s match with Arsenal, Ten Hag has heaped praise on the midfielder.
“A few weeks ago he [Bruno Fernandes] was criticised for his performance,” he told Sky Sports.
“I told him to stay calm, that the goals will come and to keep doing what he knows how to do, because it’s important for the team and now he’s on two goals in two games.
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“I am convinced that if we continue this collective process he will score more, but the basis is always the skills he has.
“And there are not many players who are as good in transition as Bruno [Fernandes].”
One criticism levelled at the United squad in recent years has been a lack of leaders at the club.
But Ten Hag has now dispelled that myth, naming the likes of Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Luke Shaw, Raphael Varane and David De Gea as players he can count on.
He continued: ”I have a lot of leaders with De Gea, Varane, Bruno Fernandes, Eriksen.
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“Let’s not forget Shaw. I have no leadership problems with this team for tomorrow [today].
“We beat them the first time and we have confidence.”
Ten Hag will be without Casemiro for the match in north London.
The Brazil international picked up a fifth yellow card of the campaign during his side’s 1-1 draw with Palace on Wednesday night.
Yet Ten Hag believes United can cope without the 30-year-old, despite his fine performances this term.
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“We have a plan,” said the 52-year-old.
“I think we have a good plan, like against Manchester City, sometimes you have to surprise the opponent.
“We spoke about it, have given the instructions, trained it, now we have to deliver.”
And Ten Hag has admitted he’s hoping to make United the best team in the world, while also acknowledging the tough job he’s got on his hands.
“We want to be the best,” he said.
“We have made no secret of that, so we will work and we know we have a lot to do and there is a lot of room for improvement.
“In the Premier League, there are incredible managers at the moment.
“He [Mikel Arteta] is one of them and for what he is doing now, he is the best.
“He is overseeing really big performances, huge things managing his team.
“They are so consistent, the most consistent in the league and playing incredible football.
“They are fantastic, but we want to beat them and we are looking forward to it. We did it already once and we want to do it a second time and we know how to do it.”
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