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Other SportsNot captain material? Fernandes unfazed by Manchester United critics Keane and Ince

Not captain material? Fernandes unfazed by Manchester United critics Keane and Ince

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes insists he is not affected by criticism of his leadership abilities, with club legend Roy Keane among those to suggest he should be stripped of the armband.

Fernandes’ captaincy credentials have repeatedly been called into question since Erik ten Hag handed him the armband in July, amid questions over the future of previous skipper Harry Maguire.

Following October’s 3-0 derby defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford, former Red Devils captain-turned Sky Sports pundit Keane said: “I would take the captaincy off him, 100 per cent.

“He is a talented player, no doubt about it. We’ve discussed this many times before, it was like this last season at Liverpool… his whinging, his moaning and throwing his arms up in the air constantly. It really isn’t acceptable.”

Read our other Manchester United news stories here:
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Keane is not the only United great to question Fernandes’ suitability for the role, with Paul Ince telling talkSPORT on Monday: “I don’t know what I see in Fernandes, he is not a leader by the way he plays.”

Those criticisms were put to Fernandes at a press conference to preview Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League trip to Galatasaray on Tuesday, but the creative midfielder brushed them off.

“Obviously you don’t like to be criticised, everyone is the same, but at the same time I have to do what I think is the best for my team,” Fernandes said.

“It is quite normal when you play for Manchester United that you are going to get criticised, even if you do well or bad, if you do the wrong or the right thing.

“I just have to deal with that, it is normal since I arrived at the club.

“I know since I arrived at the club my numbers made me a target. Now not keeping the same numbers on goals and assists is sometimes a problem for me in people’s criticism, they take it from there.

“Now it’s the captaincy, there is always going to be something. Now my focus is on the team, the staff, everyone who works with me day by day, I think they are pretty happy with me.

“The way I am has been the same since I arrived at the club, it has not changed since I was made captain. I don’t think it has to change.

“I am really open with everyone so no one until now has had a problem with me. I think I should keep it like that. Everyone is pretty happy with my leadership.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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