Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has fired back at criticism of his performances against so-called 'big six' sides this season.
Fernandes has been an excellent signing for United, netting 34 goals and providing 21 assists in 62 appearances in all competitions since joining the club from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.
However, Fernandes has struggled to have the same impact against United's 'big six' rivals this season, scoring just once in seven games.
Speaking ahead of United's derby clash with league leaders Manchester City on Sunday, Fernandes hit back at his critics, telling Sky Sports : "I don't know what people mean by 'top six', because the teams are in top six in the table.
"I score and assist against some of them. I score this season against Tottenham. But some people say penalties don't count!
"I know people expect Bruno to score or assist in every game because when I arrived, I was playing really well. If you see my stats, everyone is thinking that Bruno has to score in every game, Bruno has to assist in every game.
"And I want to do that – it's the most important thing. But as a player, I don't look for the big six or the rest of the league. I look for every game in the same way. And I think the league is not a sprint, it's a marathon. So you don't have to score or win against the big six – you have to score and win against everyone.
"I see people talking about Bruno not doing so well against the 'big six'. People have said Bruno gives the ball away too many times when we lose a game.
"Also, in the game against Basaksehir, I scored two goals and I lost more balls than their team, but people said I was the best player in the game. So, what is the point?
"But I agree the last two games, I didn't play very well. And I don't need to see the stats to see if I play well or not. I know when I play well or not.
"I saw an interview from Luke [Shaw] saying, 'people now care more about stats than the performance'. And this is the truth. Because now they're expecting from me just goals and assists, and not performances.
"They don't care about the performance of Bruno, they don't care about ball recovery or how many chances I create, because I can create 10 chances but if I don't score, people will say Bruno didn't play very well.
"But this is football. Football is in the moment. Some people have said I'm playing bad, and that I have to do better. And I agree, because we always can do better. But for me, it's OK. I can have that pressure on my back.
"I'm sure in some moments, I will score, I will assist, and I will perform. And that will help my team-mates to win the game."
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