In a thrilling contest at Old Trafford, Manchester United, led by captain Bruno Fernandes, achieved a dramatic comeback against Brentford.
Facing a potential fifth Premier League defeat of the season after Mathias Jensen’s first-half strike, and the looming dread of a third successive home loss, the Red Devils found a hero in Scott McTominay. The midfielder, coming off the bench, netted twice during injury time. This unexpected turn might just be the spark Manchester United needs after what many consider a lackluster season thus far.
Captain Bruno shared insights on the team’s morale during the crucial match, emphasising the unwavering confidence the squad had. In a post-match discussion with former Red Devil, Wes Brown, he expressed, “Of course I enjoy it, it’s a privilege for me to be captain of the club, and, sometimes, I can understand that the moment is not the best, but you have to try to get the best out of your team-mates.” The full interview is slated for release on Saturday morning.
Bruno elaborated on how he motivated his teammates, “We can do it. We have done this in the past. We have been losing games and we came back. We know what we have to do. So just keep going, keep the belief.” Those very words seemed to instill a new resolve in the squad. “I think when I said those words in the dressing room, everyone was like: ‘OK, we can do something’.”
Despite the team’s enhanced performance in the second half and consistent pressure on Brentford, a comeback seemed unlikely. Manager Erik ten Hag made tactical changes, and later shed light on the squad’s profound ‘connection’ and their collective spirit of battling against odds.
Reiterating the importance of the team’s collective spirit, Bruno recounted a motivating exchange with seasoned player Jonny Evans. “At the end of the game, I was getting a little bit tired because the manager took the left-back [Victor Lindelof] off and, obviously, the midfielders were doing a little more cover,” Fernandes said. He continued, recalling Evans’ words of encouragement, “And I look behind and Jonny said to me: ‘Bruno, carry on, we’re doing well. We’re doing well. Don’t stop.’”
These fleeting but impactful conversations between players are what Bruno wants to encourage within the squad. He believes such brief interchanges have the power to uplift spirits.
Bruno remarked, “So these little messages that go through the pitch between every player are really important.”
He also emphasized his role as a captain, stating, “You understand, as a captain, that you have to try to be as positive as possible in these kind of moments, because you need to push everyone to be at their best.”