Bruno Fernandes has told his Manchester United team-mates that they need to be more ruthless if they are to challenge for top honours as the notoriously vocal star pointed out their shortcomings once again.
United further strengthened their grip on second place at the weekend after they beat Brighton 2-1 to consolidate their spot in the top four.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men remain 14 points adrift of league leaders Manchester City and are still yet to win silverware under the Norwegian.
Bruno Fernandes has told his Man United team-mates that semi-final exits aren’t good enough
United were dumped out of the Carabao Cup semi-finals by rivals City in January and then the quarter-finals of the FA Cup by Leicester – and Fernandes has insisted it isn’t good enough if they want to start challenging on all fronts next season.
When asked on how United can improve, Fernandes told FourFourTwo: ‘We need to win more matches.
‘We can’t drop as many points as we do at home, but we’ve been in second, and at the start of the season there weren’t many people who were saying United would be second.
United were knocked out of the Carabao Cup semis by rivals Manchester City in January
‘After a few games and a bad start, nobody was saying United could reach the top of the table, but we ignored what people were saying on the outside. We knew what we had said on the inside, we had confidence that things would improve, and they did. We still have to be the best United we can, but we have improved.’
While the Premier League now looks out of United’s reach, winning the Europa League still remains a possibility after they were handed a favourable draw against Granada in the quarter-finals.
Another cup exit will not be enough for Fernandes, who has insisted that they must go all the way to meet the levels expected of United.
‘We can’t think of anything else at this club,’ Fernandes said when asked about why the club need to win titles.
‘United is made for trophies and the whole mood is around that. We reached the semis [of the League Cup] and lost to City, but that’s not enough. That wasn’t our time – we need to be in finals, and to win them.’
Fernandes (left) says United need to improve if they are to challenge for titles going forward
Fernandes gave his damning verdict in the latest edition of FourFourTwo
This isn’t the first time Fernandes has called on his team-mates to improve.
After United’s dramatic 3-3 draw with Everton in February – which saw the Red Devils throw away a two-goal lead – Fernandes lambasted his team-mates’ defending, claiming that they conceded far too many goals.
The Portuguese midfielder, who is seen as a leader figure in the dressing room, has also clashed with his team-mates on the pitch after becoming frustrated with their effort levels.
Fernandes was seen furiously arguing with Victor Lindelof in last year’s Europa League semi-final defeat by Sevilla, with the two team-mates angrily squaring off and arguing on the pitch.
This month’s FourFourTwo is in shops on Wednesday, April 7 and has a 10 page interview with Manchester United forward Bruno Fernandes. Also in this issue, The Football League Top 50, an interview with Leeds star Raphinha and former Spurs star Steven Caulker opens up. For a special MailOnline subscription offer of three issues of FourFourTwo for £3: www.magazinesdirect.com/fft/81au