Erik ten Hag confirms Manchester United captaincy plans after Bruno Fernandes criticism
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insists Bruno Fernandes will remain the club’s on-field captain in the absence of Harry Maguire.
The Portugal international was the subject of widespread criticism following Sunday’s dismal 7-0 loss away at rivals Liverpool.
United legend Gary Neville claimed he had “had enough” of the 28-year-old, while pundit Chris Sutton called for Fernandes to be stripped of the armband.
While ten Hag had branded his “players” unprofessional after their heaviest defeat in almost a century, the Dutchman stressed Fernandes remained a key part of his team.
Sunday aside, Fernandes has been one of United’s leading players this season, scoring seven times and registering 11 assists in 40 appearances across all competitions this season.
“Yes, definitely,” said the United boss when asked if Fernandes would keep the armband.
“I think he is playing a brilliant season and he has played a big role in us being where we are. He is an inspiration to the team; everyone makes mistakes and we learn. I have to learn and he will as well.
“He is intelligent. I’m really pleased he is our player and he is captain when Harry [Maguire] is not playing.”
United host Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday.
Ten Hag’s side are amongst the favourites to win the competition after beating Barcelona in dramatic circumstances last time out.