Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag furious with Fulham over Bruno Fernandes post

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag furious with Fulham over Bruno Fernandes post
Erik ten Hag called for Fulham to apologise for their social media post
Erik ten Hag called for Fulham to apologise for their social media post
AFP
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag (54) has demanded Fulham apologise for a social media post that appeared to mock Bruno Fernandes (29) as he prepared his side for Sunday's daunting Manchester derby.

Ten Hag hit out at criticism suggesting his captain faked injury after Wednesday's 1-0 FA Cup win away to Nottingham Forest.

The Dutch boss was asked about a TikTok post from Fulham showing Fernandes going down during United's 2-1 Premier League defeat by the Cottagers at Old Trafford last weekend, accompanied by the caption: "So glad he's OK..."

"I didn't know this, but if they (Fulham) did it I would say it is not right," Ten Hag said on Thursday.

"It is absolutely not right that a club makes such a statement, because it is totally out of order and they were wrong so they should apologise for this."

Ten Hag was adamant Forest had targeted Fernandes, whom he described as a "passionate" and "creative" player.

"You see opponents are targeting him and especially after Saturday when he had the knock and they see it, and then I feel the referee should protect him there," he said. They had to change at the start of the game because it was so obvious they were looking for him."

Ten Hag said he expected Fernandes and defender Raphael Varane to be fit to face City, while Harry Maguire and Rasmus Hojlund are set to stay on United's lengthy injury list.

United are 15 points behind second-placed City in the Premier League and eight shy of a Champions League spot. City are unbeaten since early December and have won 16 of their past 18 games in all competitions.

Ten Hag has lost three of his four games against Pep Guardiola's star-studded City side, with last season's trip to the Etihad ending in an embarrassing 6-3 defeat for United.

But the United manager said: "We are also in a good run and the spirit is very good, we are united, we have the togetherness to make a good game plan.

"We have done it before against City, lately also against Liverpool. The players are ready for it, the players are looking forward to it. I can smell it when I am around here, when I speak with the players. We're excited.

"They have a good team but there are more good teams. They have won in the last season everything so we know that that's the challenge, but also Liverpool have a very good team and there are more. We like such challenges."

New United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe said last week he wanted to re-establish the Old Trafford club as English football's dominant force within three years.

"You always want to play against the best so most of the times we feel and you can also see it that the opposition get their best outputs against Manchester United, and maybe this game is the other way around," said Ten Hag.

"We know we have to give everything and show really a team performance if you want to get a result. If you do it, it is possible."

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