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Bruno is a leader and a winner - Solskjaer hails Fernandes ahead of derby bow

  • Along with supplying goals and assists, Bruno Fernandes has made his presence felt since joining Manchester United.
Omnisport
NEWS
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Modified 06 Mar 2020, 15:30 IST
BrunoFernandes - cropped
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised the leadership qualities of perfectionist Bruno Fernandes as the midfielder prepares for his first taste of the Manchester derby.

Manchester United host rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday buoyed by a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Portugal international Fernandes has been key to this resurgence, supplying two goals and as many assists in four Premier League outings since moving for an initial £46million from Sporting CP in January.

The 25-year-old arrived with an established reputation for prolific goalscoring from midfield and Solskjaer believes the continuation of this form speaks well of the player's character.

"I like to see that in a player, he doesn't change coming into a new team. He's the same as he was at Sporting," he said.

"That's a boy with confidence, with quality, good form and that's his personality. Everyone should be themselves.

"He's come in as a leader and he's shown he's a leader. He's a winner. He doesn't take 99 per cent as good enough."

United have beaten their neighbours twice at the Etihad Stadium this season, claiming an authoritative 2-1 Premier League triumph in December before eking out a 1-0 EFL Cup win a month later.

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That was not enough to progress to the final of a competition City won for a third consecutive season last weekend, however, given Pep Guardiola's men ran out 3-1 semi-final first leg winners to extend an excellent recent record at Old Trafford.

In pursuit of his club's first top-flight derby win on home soil for almost five years, Solskjaer will hope to have captain Harry Maguire available alongside right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka and winger Daniel James.

Maguire sat out Thursday's 3-0 FA Cup fifth-round victory at Derby County after rolling his ankle in training, while Wan-Bissaka injured his back in last Sunday's 1-1 draw at Everton that James missed with an unspecified knock.

"I hope [they will be fit] but none of them have been training yet since the last game. We've got to look at them on Saturday because Friday is a recovery day," Solskjaer explained.

On Maguire, he added: "It's touch and go because he rolled and twisted his ankle. Hopefully he'll recover quickly. I hope he'll be fit, yeah."

Published 06 Mar 2020, 15:30 IST
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