Manchester United hero Wes Brown has challenged Bruno Fernandes to build on his brace against Aston Villa on Saturday. The Portugal international was back to his best as his side were pegged back due to late goals from Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho. Now, those close to the club are hoping he can maintain his fine form.
Fernandes has endured a difficult season at United so far, just like many of his team-mates.
But he was back to his tenacious best against Villa over the weekend, with fans now hoping it’s a start of things to come.
Now, speaking to club media, former United defender Brown has called on the former Sporting Lisbon star to achieve the same consistency he’s often exhibited during his two years at Old Trafford so far.
With the club enduring a tough campaign, however, that will be no easy task.
“He was getting himself into those positions where we like to see him,” said Brown.
“He was scoring the two goals and bringing some of that quality back that he gave us a lot last season and in probably every game. You could see he was back into it.
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“We need to see more from him, he has got to keep that going now, but it was a very good performance from him.
“The first goal, he got a bit lucky with it, but the second goal was fantastic.
“He was back about the pitch, you could see that energy in him and he was looking to score.
“Hopefully we will see that again, because he’s had a few ups and downs this season.”
When asked if the 4-2-3-1 formation gets the best from Fernandes, Brown then added: “Yeah I think it does.
“I just feel he is comfortable there, he likes to get on the ball, he knows he is in those positions when he picks up the ball he can shoot or set somebody up.
“I feel like when he is free and in those positions, he brings a lot more to the game and to the team.”
Also speaking to club media was Ben Thornley.
And the former Class of 92’ graduate thinks the 4-2-3-1 formation would be the best course of action for Wednesday night’s match with Brentford.
“I must admit, I do prefer that 4-2-3-1 formation,” he said.
“And especially in Anthony Elanga’s case because he is a wide player, he has played through the middle, but I think he does prefer to be wide and I thought that was the perfect game to play him in. He nullified Matty Cash, too.
“And I think if we play a lot more narrow, it does allow their full-backs to push onto ours.
“Brentford, especially, when they are playing with wing-backs as they do, then I think it is important to block that channel off and I think the 4-2-3-1 seems to be working a lot better than the 4-2-2-2.”
While Fernandes was brilliant against Villa, he admitted to being disappointed in the aftermath of the contest.
He said: “Everyone was really involved in the game, the game was being fantastic from us and we let the result slip at the end.
“The frustration is there but now is the time to carry on because the next game is coming quick.”
Fernandes then added: “When we played well was when we played more compact, more calm.
“With clear ideas of what we are doing and everyone was following ideas, so that’s why I think the first 30 minutes was really good.
“After, the game started to be more balanced for both sides but still in the second half we were doing well, wait when we need to wait, press when we need to press but when you don’t get the result you have to find out what’s going on at the moment to concede two goals when the game was controlled.
“Now is the time to understand what we can do better and go into the next game, it’s going to be another tough game.”
Fernandes looks likely to start United’s match with Brentford on Wednesday.