Bruno Fernandes has justified his choice to relinquish penalty-taking responsibilities to Marcus Rashford during Manchester United’s triumph over Everton.
In the match at Goodison Park, regular penalty-taker Fernandes opted to give the opportunity to the out-of-form Rashford, who successfully converted, scoring his first goal for the Red Devils since the beginning of September in the 3-0 victory.
The captain faced criticism for the decision, particularly from Man Utd legend Roy Keane. Fernandes has now responded to the backlash ahead of his team’s Champions League clash with Galatasaray.
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“Obviously, you don’t like to be criticized – everyone is the same – but at the same time, I have to do what I believe is best for my team,” he stated before the upcoming game.
“Perhaps I’m not always making the right decisions, but in my current mindset, I believe it’s the correct choice, so I go with it. It’s quite normal that when you play for Manchester United, you’ll face criticism, whether you perform well or poorly, make the right or wrong decisions. I simply have to deal with that; it’s been the norm since I arrived at the club.
“In the beginning, everything was perfect because when you make unconventional choices in your first game, everyone praises you. However, I’ve come to understand that the challenging part always follows, especially when the results and performances don’t meet the heightened expectations.
“I maintain an open approach with everyone, and so far, no one has had issues with me. I believe I should continue in that manner, as everyone seems content with my leadership.”
Fernandes elaborated on the decision to let Rashford take the penalty in a post-match interview after the Everton victory, explaining, “I sensed Marcus needed a boost of confidence. He needed that goal. Marcus is an excellent penalty taker too, and I was completely confident he could convert it. It’s not about who takes it; it’s about putting the penalty in the net, and Marcus executed it perfectly.”
The creative midfielder assumed the captain’s role during the summer, following Erik ten Hag’s decision to strip Harry Maguire of the captaincy. Since donning the armband, Fernandes has featured in every Premier League game, contributing to six goals in the process.