Bruno Fernandes has opened up on what he believes Manchester United were missing in their derby day loss.
Speaking to MUTV the (stand-in) captain gave his thoughts on their 6-3 defeat against Manchester City.
“The attitude and the belief from the beginning was not the best and I think it was that that caused us many problems.
“We conceded early goals and after that we had to run back the result.”
Fernandes’ assessment of the early game will likely do little to embolden fans, with many leaving at half time having seen their team go 4-0 down in the opening 45 minutes.
But an improved second half at least separates this match from the humiliations that became all-too common against United’s rivals last season.
Unfortunately Antony’s goal soon after the interval was not enough to mount a comeback, although two goals from Anthony Martial at least kept the scoreline slightly more respectable.
For Bruno it was a matter of having to take the risks, and leaving gaps elsewhere:
“The second half was much better, we kept control more of the game. Whenever we had the ball, we were more brave but obviously we were down on the result, so we had to take some risks.
“Obviously you take that risk, you score straight away and then you concede more goals against a team like City. You can’t give that much space to them.”
Going forward, United’s playmaker is keen to draw a line under a miserable afternoon, saying “We have to get back to the performances we had before.”
But the disappointment is clear, as Fernandes bemoaned the lack of belief, particularly in light of United’s recent wins as underdogs.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game, but we’ve had tough games before and won them, so I think it’s about mentality, attitude and belief in the process.”
The Portugal star now looks ahead to a busy October schedule in which United play nine games in four weeks and Fernandes has called on his teammates to see the gruelling run-in and quick turnaround as an opportunity to set things right.
“It’s a good thing. We don’t have that much time to recover but at the same time you have to understand it’s a chance to have a good result.”