Ten Hag hails captain Bruno Fernandes for leading by example

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Erik ten Hag has responded to criticism from his captain Bruno Fernandes by saying he is happy with his choice after the midfielder scored a crucial winner for Manchester United against Fulham.

Ten Hag have faced calls from former players including Roy Keane to remove Fernandes from the captaincy following a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

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But the Portugal midfielder responded with a stoppage-time goal to give United a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

“He has done it since the moment I made him captain [win games]”, Ten Haag said at the post-match press conference.

“Every time he’s playing, he’s giving energy and setting an example. And you see the way he’s pressing, the way he’s counter-pressing. The way he’s making recovery runs. He’s absolutely leading by example and he’s taking all the responsibility. Time. On the pitch and off

“He takes responsibility for important goals but how he always wants the ball and always wants to create. I’m happy with my captain.”

Ten Hague were without Marcus Rashford against Fulham after the English forward was ruled out with injury.

The Dutchman labeled Rashford’s decision to attend a party after Friday’s defeat to City as “unacceptable” but insisted the 26-year-old would have started against Fulham had he not failed a late fitness test.

“He had some complaints after training,” Ten Haag said. “He traveled with us but today the complaint was so great that he couldn’t start. It was a risk to start him because we could lose him for a few more weeks.

“So we didn’t want to take that risk because we have more important games after today.”

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