Pogba

Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal with Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 14, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Fernandes unfazed as Man Utd gears up for Galatasaray challenge

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes remains undaunted as the team gears up for a crucial test against Galatasaray.

Pogba

Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal with Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 14, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

Bruno Fernandes says he is relishing the prospect of playing in a hostile atmosphere at Galatasaray this week as Manchester United seek to keep their slim Champions League hopes alive.

Erik ten Hag’s side appear unlikely to reach the knockout stages after defeats in three of their four Group A matches left them rooted at the bottom of the table.

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The three-time European champions have lost away to Bayern Munich and Copenhagen and at home to Galatasaray, meaning another defeat in Istanbul on Wednesday would end their Champions League dreams with a match to spare.

Fernandes

But United captain Fernandes said the players were confident they could turn things around, with Wednesday’s match at Galatasaray followed by a home game against already-qualified Bayern.

“We know that’s going to be tough, it’s going to be difficult but we have to think that we can do it because we have done it in the past in difficult situations,” he said.

“We get through some difficult periods, so we just have to do it again.”

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United beat Everton 3-0 on Sunday for their fifth league victory in six games, leaving them sixth in the table despite a poor start to the season.

“Obviously sometimes you don’t get the results you want but we feel confident because we have confidence in the team we have, in the players we have, in the process we are (going) through,” said Fernandes.

“We know that it’s already the second year with this manager, so some of the things have to be better and we have to improve that on the road to win games.”

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United lost 3-2 to Galatasaray in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford last month and now face one of the most intimidating atmospheres in Europe — something Fernandes believes will help him rather than hinder him.

“We prepare for that,” said the Portugal international. “I think when you are a kid you want to play in this kind of atmosphere.

“You know that Galatasaray away is going to be great, is going to be an amazing atmosphere.

“I think me, as a player, I love playing (in these) kinds of stadiums because it’s a big boost for you.”

Rashford suspended

Ten Hag’s side will be without the suspended Marcus Rashford and a number of other first-team players in Istanbul.

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“The other ones have to step (up),” Fernandes said. “They have to step like Kobbie (Mainoo) did (at Everton). Everyone else that gets the chance, they have to make a big step and make a statement to be in the squad.”

© Agence France-Presse