Nani insists Bruno Fernandes is leading by example at Manchester United (Getty)
United’s current slump continued on Wednesday evening as they were dumped out of the Carabao Cup following a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle at Old Trafford.
Fernandes, meanwhile, faced criticism for his performance in United’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City last weekend, with Roy Keane claiming that the Portugal international should be stripped of the captaincy.
Gary Neville also believes Fernandes would be better off without the United armband as he said in an interview this week that the midfielder is ‘trying to be everything’.
But Nani, who made 230 appearances for United, is adamant that Fernandes is leading by example and feels his teammates should be doing more to follow.
‘When we used to play at Manchester [United], one of the things that defined the club was that you could be losing 3-0 with 15 minutes, 10 minutes left in a game, and that’s when you saw what mental strength means,’ Nani told 1 PARA 1.
Nani says Erik ten Hag’s side has ‘no fighting spirit’ (AMA/Getty)
‘It’s no longer about talent, it’s about pushing the ball into the goal. We did that, we did what was necessary.
‘Now, when you watch Manchester play, you see a lot of talent, maybe more talent than in our time in terms of technique, and they’re all technically gifted.
‘But when you watch the game, there’s no spirit of sacrifice, no fighting spirit… a real player, a star, at Manchester, has to unlock the game – if they don’t, it won’t work.
‘Manchester already has great players. We have Bruno Fernandes. If Bruno Fernandes wasn’t playing well, I’d criticise him too, but for example, the sacrifice and effort he puts into the game, he does it.
‘We see it. He works hard, gives his all, and contributes. It’s just that many others don’t keep up with it.’
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‘There’s no spirit of sacrifice, no fighting spirit.’