Fernandes brushes off claims o...


Fernandes brushes off claims of rift as Rangnick relishes Simeone clash


03:51 22 Feb 2022

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Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes has brushed off the idea there is a 'lack of unity' in the squad ahead of their massive Champions League game this week. 

Ralf Rangnick's side take on Athletico Madrid in the first-leg of their Champions League last 16 tie at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in the Spanish capital on Wednesday night.

United go into the game off the back of back-to-back Premier League wins, the most recent being their 4-2 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday.

Fernandes, who scored United's second goal in that game, has rubbished the idea that there is trouble or tension in the United dressing room.

"I don't know what people mean by that, honestly.

"I was doing an interview and they asked me about Jadon [Sancho] doing my celebration. I don't think that is going in different ways.

"I saw the goal off H [Harry Maguire] and I'm seeing Paul [Pogba] running in behind him, sliding on his knees happy for him, happy for everyone.

"I was slapping his head and saying 'finally you scored with that big head!'

"I think honestly people are trying to complain and make up stories about this club because we know when someon talks about this club and a player at this club they go around the world with their voice.

"For us it means nothing and as I said before as we stick to the plan and as we stick together is the main thing - losing together and winning together."

Also looking ahead to the game in Madrid, interim manager Ralf Rangnick expressed his excitement at facing Athletico boss Diego Simeone for the first time.

Since retiring from playing in 2006 Argentine Simeone has forged a reputation as one of the most accomplished managers in Europe.

He has restored the fortunes of Atletico in Spain - leading the club to two La Liga titles, two Europa Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, the Spanish Cup, and the Spanish Super Cup.

Rangnick has nothing but praise for his opposite number;

“He has won trophies with a clear identity and with a recognisable playing style, and I don't think this has changed in the last years.

“There is always an emotional side and this also reflects the character of the manager - Diego Simeone is probably one of the most emotional managers in Europe.

“The style and the way that his teams have always performed reflects those emotions that he tries to bring into the team, and this is what it's all about. We need to match the levels of energy and emotions in both games and this is what we have to be aware of.

“I will try to prepare our team, my team, for exactly that kind of challenge. It will be physical, it will be emotional. We have to be mentally strong in both games, even more so when we play away.

“We haven't played against each other as of yet but I have always admired what he has achieved. In 11 years with Atletico, I think he has changed that club completely into one of the most respected clubs in Europe."

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Bruno Fernandes Manchester United Ralf Rangnick UEFA Champions League

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