Erik ten Hag bans alcohol during match weeks in Manchester United disciplinary crackdown

“Obviously we have to respect the decision of everyone. I do not know what Cristiano said to the club, to the manager, I do not know what’s going on in his head about him but we have to respect his space about him. From everything we know, he had some family problems so we have to respect his space from him, give him some space and that’s it.

Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford last season appeared to affect Fernandes’ own form and he also surrendered penalty taking duties to the 37-year-old. Having scored 28 goals during the 2020-21 campaign, Fernandes managed 10 last term and came in for criticism for turning over the ball too cheaply at times but the Portuguese launched a staunch defense of his style of play and insisted risk-taking was part and parcel of it amid suggestions he must take better care of the ball under Ten Hag.

“I have [Ten Hag] wants me to make assists,” Fernandes said. “I keep the ball when I think I have to keep it, I try to pass when I think I have to do it and sometimes it goes good, sometimes wrong. Obviously when it goes wrong, I know that shouldn’t be the [pass] but sometimes when you play in the [number] 10 position you have only a few seconds to think and control the ball and make the pass, so it’s not that much time to think.

“When I arrived in 2020 I was losing the same amount of balls in those six months and then the year after I lost the same amount of balls, but I scored 28 goals, so people don’t complain about that. Now last season, because I scored only 10, people start complaining but I’m okay with that, I don’t worry. I do my best.

“Obviously I will have to do what the coach demands from me because he thinks it’s the best for the team and, for me, the best for the team is the best for me.”

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