Tue. Jan 26th, 2021

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Solskjaer wants more Man Utd players to follow Fernandes’ leadership example

3 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is happy to see Bruno Fernandes demand more from his Manchester United teammates and wants to see the rest of his squad follow the same example.

Fernandes dishing out telling offs to teammates during games have become as common as the Portuguese playmaker scoring goals since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January.

The 26-year-old has exacting standards and isn’t afraid to tell his colleagues when they don’t meet them, but that’s a trait Solskjaer is happy to embrace in his side – as long as it’s quickly forgotten.

Solskjaer played in a United team that was full of senior professionals who would happily confront each other when necessary and he’s hoping to engender the same spirit within this squad.

“In the heat of the moment people are allowed to air their frustration and be angry for a second or two, but then it’s over and done with, because it’s just for the benefit of the team. If it lingers on that’s a different scenario,” said Solskjaer.

“I’ve been in a team and I like a team that has that inner justice where it’s not just the managers and the coaches that shout. I want players to take responsibility and put other players into their places at times when it’s necessary.

“They’re out there fighting for one cause and that’s for the team to win.

“The players have reacted really well [to Fernandes], we see different kinds of leadership, some lead by example, some lead by both, once in a while you just have to take a rollicking when you deserve one.

“He’s not just giving out rollockings, he’s also instructing players.

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Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Champions League with a 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes’ brace set Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on course for a third successive win, with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James also on the scoresheet.

MEN Sport will bring you all the reaction and analysis from United’s win and the build up to the Southampton game this weekend. You can have it all delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter. Just put your email address in the sign-up box at the top of this article, or simply follow this link. It’s free and only takes a few seconds.

“We can all learn from his mentality and mindset, that winning mentality, if it’s 2-0 he wants 3-0, if it’s 4-0 he wants 5-0, he always wants the team to improve.”

Fernandes has walked the walk with it, becoming the fastest United midfielder to 20 goals and he’s stepped up at key moments for Solskjaer’s side.

Now the challenge is for other players to prove as decisive in the heat of battle.

“Yeah we all need to step up and improve, of course we do. Especially in difficult times – and Bruno has done that He has stepped up and taken penalties – that is just an example,” added Solskjaer.

“Say at Brighton in the 98th minute or at Leicester last season to qualify for the Champions League, those pressure moments he likes.

“Marcus [Rashford], he did it v PSG, he likes them. That’s pressure. That is the sign of a Manchester United player – a player who can step up when it might go wrong.

“If you’re 4-0 up, 5-0 up and you’re ‘I want to show my flicks and style, I want to take a penalty then’ well that’s a different mindset.

“Bruno has had a fantastic influence and impact in that respect.

“He has come in and said I’m not afraid of anything here. That’s what you should be. You shouldn’t be afraid of anything on a football pitch, the last year has shown that to everyone – when you’re on the pitch you should feel free and step up and be confident.”

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