In the Manchester derby, Bruno Fernandes remarked that Manchester United’s players lacked “attitude and belief.”
United prepared for the derby with some hope earlier this week, but after four consecutive Premier League wins, they were immediately knocked back down to earth with an ugly 6-3 defeat against rivals Manchester City at the Etihad.
Erik ten Hag’s team trailed by four goals at halftime on Sunday after Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both scored two goals in the first half. Despite showing character in the second half, the result was already out of reach following a terrible first 45 minutes.
After halftime, Antony scored for United, and Anthony Martial scored twice, but those goals were a small consolation. After the final whistle, Fernandes pondered on the setback, explaining that his teammates’ ‘attitude’ and ‘confidence’ were lacking.
“I believe the mentality and belief from the start were not the best,” Fernandes told MUTV. “That, I believe, caused us numerous issues and prompted us to concede early goals. I believe the second half was much better, as we maintained more control.
“We were braver when we had the ball. We were obviously behind, so we needed to take some risks, and when we did, we scored right away, so try to go a little bit further and concede more goals. You can’t afford to give teams like City that much space.
“We are quite sad, but now is the time to focus on the next game and understand that we must return to the previous performances, with belief, solidarity, and understanding that this cannot bring us down and must force us to develop.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game after this result, but we’ve had tough games before and won them, so I think it’s about mentality, attitude, teamwork, and belief in the process. It’s a good thing [there are so many games in October].
“You don’t have much time to recover, but you must recognize that you have an opportunity to obtain a result, a solid performance that will boost the team’s confidence. It’s all about entering the Europa League and winning the next game.”