Manchester United sensation Bruno Fernandes has his sights firmly set on silverware and insists his mentality is to win and to win only as the Red Devils look to win a first Premier League title since 2013.
United made a statement about their intentions this season by defeating Liverpool at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Fernandes watched on from the substitutes’ bench as Mohamed Salah scored twice and Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford netted for the hosts.
The Portuguese playmaker was then summoned with less than half-an-hour remaining and just 12 minutes after entering the fray delivered the decisive winning goal with a superb free-kick.
The 26-year-old now stands on 16 goals and 10 assists in 29 games this season and is leading the way for United as they seek success on multiple fronts.
Despite dropping out of the Champions League in December, United have recovered brilliantly and sit atop the Premier League table after 19 games.
Though rivals Manchester City can leapfrog Untied with a victory in their extra game, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are bursting with confidence and are six clear of out-of-form champions Liverpool.
With Chelsea and Tottenham having fallen off, there is an increasing feeling that the two teams from Manchester will battle it out for supremity as closely as they did in 2011-12, when City won the league on goal difference.
United’s only loss in their last 13 games came in a Carabao Cup semi-final clash with City although they drew 0-0 at home to the Citizens in the league.
And Fernandes insists nothing less than glory will do as United seek a first title triumph since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement eight years ago.
“I came to the club because I knew it is one that wants to win everything – and my mentality and my way to be in my life and football is about winning,” Fernandes declared.
“So you have to be confident. You have to trust your team-mates, you have to trust yourself, and you have to believe.
“And I will believe until it’s not possible anymore, you know? Like when I see someone get the trophy before me then I will (have) lost my belief.
“I always was like this. I don’t like to lose, so I think maybe the mentality is more like I don’t like to lose. For me, losing is not normal so my mentality comes from that.
“Whatever it is, when I was playing with my friends, my brother, with my neighbours, I never wanted to lose. I want to win every time, this mentality will be with me for the rest of my life.”
United finished 33 points behind title-winners Liverpool this season but victory at Old Trafford in the cup was their first win over the Reds since March 2018.
Solskjaer’s charges drew 0-0 with the same opponents a week previously in the league.
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But the Red Devils boss felt the FA Cup success was a real message to their rivals, declaring: “It’s fantastic to win games against last year’s champions.
“They are a fantastic team and we have had good results over the past couple of years playing different systems but today we played well and won on our terms.
“We have found a way that we and the players believe in and we are getting stronger and stronger. Our mentality to come back from 1-0 down. We have shown it so many times this season.
“Physically we have got stronger and stronger and lasted to the end of games a lot more. We look at the difference of a year ago and six months back…
“You can’t take too many big strides at any one point, but layer by layer we’re getting better and better, winning tight games. The morale and confidence of course is very good.
“For us it’s a good feeling to play on our terms. We have had some good results over the last few years, playing with the diamond or with a 3-5-2, different systems to nullify opponents.
“But to win today with a positive selection and in the way we see our team, that’s a statement to ourselves. That’s the confidence boost that we can match the best with our style of football.”
United return to action at home to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Wednesday and will look to maintain their lead at the summit before travelling to Arsenal on Saturday.