Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there was ‘no problem’ with Bruno Fernandes following his half-time removal against Tottenham.
Fernandes put United 1-0 up in the second minute but a first-half capitulation left United trailing Tottenham 4-1 at half-time and Solskjaer substituted Fernandes and Nemanja Matic at the pause.
A day after the 6-1 thrashing, rumours spread of a half-time bust-up involving Fernandes and Matic, while there was also speculation the Portuguese had rounded on United captain Harry Maguire.
Fernandes claimed reports of dressing room rancour were created to ‘destabilise the group’ and ‘what was said is in no way true’. Solskjaer has previously been candid in explaining his decision-making behind interval changes but refused to clarify why Fernandes was hauled off.
“There are many reasons behind subs in a game and if I explain every time I take a player off to the media, I don’t think that’s the right thing,” Solskjaer said. “I have explained to Bruno and he accepted it no problem.
“It’s always external pressure [after a defeat]. For me, we need to stick together, that we are a group and that we stick together. When you lose a game, the first thing you need to do is bounce back in the next one and we’ve got a chance to do it against Newcastle.
“I don’t know who ‘we’ are or ‘they’ are but false stories come out and that’s ‘them’. I don’t know who started them, but you can see Bruno’s reaction as well. He’s clearly not happy with them.
“But then welcome to Man United. You are everyone’s favourite target if something goes wrong.”
After Portugal beat Sweden 3-0 on Wednesday, Fernandes told Sport TV: “I was replaced at half-time, it is true, by technical option. The coach told me that the game was almost over and that we would have a lot of games ahead of us. Got it.
“I was not satisfied but said nothing that could harm the group.”