It has been a remarkable 11 months at Old Trafford for the playmaker, who still believes he’s got even more to give
Bruno Fernandes has said he does not care about people calling him a penalty merchant as the Manchester United star continues to score plenty of goals from the spot.
The Portuguese has had a transformative impact at Old Trafford since signing from Sporting CP a year ago. In that time he has established himself as the standout player in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad and continues to break records with his goals and assists.
Fernandes already has 15 goals and nine assists in all competitions this season, but critics have pointed to the fact that seven of his goals have been penalties, and that he has scored 15 penalties in 48 appearances. But the playmaker does not bother himself with the criticism that has come his and United’s way when it comes to getting spot-kicks.
“I don’t hear them! I don’t care, honestly. You always see what people say but I really don’t care. I’m not focused on what they are saying,” Fernandes said. “I played in Portugal and when you play for Sporting, Benfica and Porto are always talking about that kind of stuff – sometimes to put pressure on the referee, sometimes just to make some noise in the press.
“But, for me, the main point is when we have a penalty, if I go to take the ball to the penalty spot, I have to do my job.
“One thing I saw in the news the other day was that Raheem Sterling has missed his last three penalties. So, yes, it shows it’s not as easy to take a penalty as people say. You have to work on that, you have to be focused, you have to do your job.
“I feel the pressure every day I come to train at United,” the 26-year-old said. “You have to put pressure on yourself. I think Liverpool being champions, they know what they have to do, they know what it is to have pressure on them. But we have to focus on what we have to do because we have a lot of pressure [on us].
“Everyone knows, playing for Manchester United means playing with the pressure on but this is what you want as a player. If you don’t have pressure on you, it’s because you’re not doing the right things.
“For us, for growing up, we have to go into these games to try to win.”