Man Utd stars haunted by 'ghosts from the past' in Brighton mauling and cracking under pressure, says Bruno Fernandes | The Sun
BRUNO FERNANDES says Manchester United were haunted by "ghosts from their past" as he attempted to explain the club's nightmare start to the season.
The midfield maestro and his teammates fell to two shocking defeats in Erik ten Hag's first league games as Manchester United boss.
Results have since improved dramatically as the new manager got to grips with his side.
But it makes the opening weekend defeat at home to Brighton and the battering away at Brentford even more baffling.
Fernandes, who has been captain this season when Harry Maguire was benched, told the Athletic that past experiences may have been a decisive factor.
He said: "You could feel it between us, between the fans, in the atmosphere, that it was like getting back to the past.
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"Everyone felt that the confidence was low again. Everyone was a little — not afraid — but not feeling the best to take the ball. I felt sometimes like it was the ghosts from the past.
"Then Brentford was even worse. We conceded a goal from nothing and all of a sudden you could see the energy of the team was low, the confidence was low."
Fernandes' arrival in January 2020 has coincided with a fairly rocky period in United's recent history.
Cup final penalty defeats, a managerial sacking, shocking losses and a turbulent interim period under Ralf Rangnick had left the players low on confidence.
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Fernandes did not try to hide how crucial this was.
He added: "Confidence in football is not everything but almost everything. When you have the confidence of your team-mates, your coach, the fans, it is really important because sometimes on the pitch, when you miss a pass and everyone is…
"You can feel it in that moment. But when you miss a pass and react quickly, you see the fans appreciate it, so for us, it is about having the confidence that we are capable of doing something.
“You can feel it in that moment. But when you miss a pass and react quickly, you see the fans appreciate it, so for us, it is about having the confidence that we are capable of doing something.
“When I talk about the ghosts of the past, I mean that we felt in the past that every time we miss a pass or something, we were letting someone down, so you start missing more. Instead, you must think, ‘I have to try’.
“I know that because I have had more than 400 games in my career. I have had bad games, really good games, normal games. It is about understanding what you have done well in the good ones to keep having them and to shake off doubts about your performance.”
Results have picked up for United in recent weeks following their crucial win over Liverpool.
They followed that up with victories over Southampton, Leicester and league leaders Arsenal.
The only downside during this run was a home defeat against Real Sociedad.
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