Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has brushed off criticism over his performances against the Premier League’s top clubs, saying his impact should not be judged solely on goals and assists.
Fernandes has made a big impression after joining from Sporting Lisbon last year, with 34 goals and 21 assists in all competitions.
But the Portugal international has netted just once across seven league games against Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea this season.
“I don’t know what people mean by ‘top six’, because the teams are in top six in the table,” Fernandes told Sky Sports.
“I score and assist against some of them. I scored this season against Tottenham. But some people say penalties don’t count! I know people expect Bruno to score or assist in every game. I want to do that. But as a player, I don’t look for big six or the rest of the league. I look for every game in the same way.”
He says, “…They’re expecting just goals and assists, and not performances. They don’t care about ball recovery or how many chances I create, because I can create 10 chances but if I don’t score, people will say Bruno didn’t play very well.”
Despite the criticism, Fernandes is relishing the pressure of being the team’s talisman.
“I can have that pressure on my back. I’m sure in some moments, I will score, assist, and I will perform. And that will help my team-mates to win,” he said.
United are third in the table on 51 points from 27 games, 14 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, who they visit later on Sunday.