Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has responded to criticism for his performance for the Red Devils against the “best six” clubs in the Premier League.
Since he moved to Old Trafford, Fernandes has scored 34 goals and recorded 21 assists in just 62 appearances.
Bruno Fernandes answered his critics in the Manchester derby with a goal from the penalty spot but insisted his celebration was not a subtle dig at his detractors but a message of thanks to his family.
The Portugal international has struggled in the Premier League playing against the heavyweights this season with just two goals scored in Eight games against Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea this season.
But while Fernandes admits that his performances during United’s draws against Chelsea and Crystal Palace fell short of his high level, the midfielder insists that he should not be judged solely on his goals and assists.
“I don’t know what people mean by ‘top six’, because the teams are in top six in the table,’ Fernandes told Sky Sports.
“I score and assist against some of them. I score this season against Tottenham. But some people say penalties don’t count!
“I know people expect Bruno to score or assist in every game because when I arrived, I was playing really well. If you see my stats, everyone is thinking that Bruno has to score in every game, Bruno has to assist in every game.
“And I want to do that – it’s the most important thing. But as a player, I don’t look for the big six or the rest of the league. I look for every game in the same way. And I think the league is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So you don’t have to score or win against the big six – you have to score and win against everyone.
“I see people talking about Bruno not doing so well against the ‘big six’. People have said Bruno gives the ball away too many times when we lose a game.
“Also, in the game against Basaksehir, I scored two goals and I lost more balls than their team, but people said I was the best player in the game. So, what is the point?
“But I agree the last two games, I didn’t play very well. And I don’t need to see the stats to see if I play well or not. I know when I play well or not.
“But this is football. Football is in the moment. Some people have said I’m playing bad, and that I have to do better. And I agree because we always can do better. But for me, it’s OK. I can have that pressure on my back.
“I’m sure in some moments, I will score, I will assist, and I will perform. And that will help my teammates to win the game.”