Bruno Fernandes admits Man United were haunted by ‘ghosts from the past’ in Brentford loss
Bruno Fernandes admits Man United were haunted by ‘ghosts from the past’ during Brighton loss and Brentford thrashing, but Erik ten Hag has restored discipline and confidence after team drifted under Solskjaer and Rangnick
- Manchester United lost to Brighton and Brentford in their first two games
- The 4-0 loss to the Bees represented a fresh low for a team that was drifting along
- But Erik ten Hag’s team has fought back with four league wins in a row
- Bruno Fernandes said the defeats brought back harrowing memories of last year
- Ole Gunnar Solskjær stumbled and Ralf Rangnick’s interim tenure was poor
- But he believes Ten Hag’s ideas and no-nonsense approach will revive United
Bruno Fernandes has admitted he felt the ‘ghosts of the past’ haunting Manchester United as they slumped to defeat in their first two games of the season – but believes Erik ten Hag has given them an identity and belief.
They lost 2-1 at home to Brighton on the opening weekend of the campaign before going down to a shock 4-0 defeat at Brentford, erasing the positivity of pre-season.
United endured a disastrous afternoon at the Gtech Community Stadium in their second Premier League game of the campaign, conceding four goals in 25 minutes during the first half to leave them bottom of the table.
Bruno Fernandes has admitted he felt haunted by ‘ghosts from the past’ as Manchester United lost their first two games of the Premier League season
United were particularly atrocious as they were beaten 4-0 by Brentford in their second game
The Portuguese star said the performance reminded him of the dark days towards the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s tenure, which were followed by the absentee drive of Ralf Rangnick’s temporary spell.
But United have recovered strongly since that low, winning their next four Premier League games, with Liverpool and Arsenal among the vanquished.
Fernandes told Athletics: ‘You can feel it between us, between the fans, in the atmosphere, it was like coming back to the past.
‘Everyone felt that confidence was low again. Everyone was a bit – not scared – but not the best at taking the ball. I sometimes felt like it was the ghosts of the past.
Then Brentford was even worse. We conceded a goal from nowhere, and all of a sudden you could see that the energy in the team was low, the confidence was low.’
Fernandes felt the defeats echoed the final weeks of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s reign
The club drifted even further under interim boss Ralf Rangnick, eventually finishing in sixth place
Fernandes describes Rangnick as a ‘good manager with good ideas’ but admits his pressing game ‘didn’t suit everyone’.
He adds: ‘There was an atmosphere between everyone where confidence was low and everything was really down.’
But the Ten Hag era began in earnest with a struggling 2-1 win over Liverpool and they have since beaten Southampton, Leicester and Arsenal to give hope of a top four finish.
Fernandes credits the Dutch manager with restoring confidence at United after a turbulent year.
Erik ten Hag has restored a sense of identity and discipline to Manchester United this season
Fernandes himself has recaptured some of his top form as United overcame two opening losses to win four league games in a row
‘First of all, he has an idea. He has a style. You must follow his rules. He’s strict about it and I like that,” Fernandes said.
‘He has brought discipline, which is something I think we missed previously. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
‘That’s what Pep [Guardiola] and [Jurgen] Klopp has done that for years because they have stability in the club and in the way they choose the transfer market and build the team, which is really important for them to get the reward.’
United return to action with a derby visit to Manchester City after the international break.