The former Old Trafford assistant manager thinks the Portuguese playmaker is growing frustrated with in-game positional changes
Bruno Fernandes’ “body language is not good”, according to Steve McClaren, who says the Manchester United star has got to “get his head up” and start having an impact on games again.
United’s worst start to a league season at Old Trafford in 48 years was confirmed after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Chelsea on Saturday evening.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side opened their latest campaign with a 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace before suffering a 6-1 loss at home to Tottenham earlier this month and were unable to get back to winning ways against the Blues.
The Red Devils came closest to finding a winner, with Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy forced to make two impressive saves to keep out Marcus Rashford, but both sides struggled to carve out clear cut chances over the course of the 90 minutes.
Fernandes had an unusually quiet game in the middle of the park and was eventually shifted out onto the right-wing when Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba were introduced to the action mid-way through the second half.
The Portuguese was also asked to take up an unnatural role during last weekend’s 4-1 win at Newcastle, during which he scored a superb late goal, but he struggled to exert the same influence on proceedings against the Blues.
McClaren accused Fernandes of sulking after being moved out of his usual position, with his lack of movement restricting United as they tried to push for a late breakthrough.
“I’ve been watching Bruno Fernandes and he’s disappointed”, the former Red Devils assistant coach said while covering the game for talkSPORT. “He’s disappointed because he’s been taken out of the middle and he’s out on the right-hand side.
“I saw it last week against Newcastle, when he went out wide, and I’m seeing it again now. His body language is not good, he’s not getting involved.
“He needs to be in the game and on that right-hand side he’s not moving from there, he’s got to move from there, he’s got to get his head up and get back into the game and affect the game. At the moment he’s just standing out on the right and he’s making it very easy for Ben Chilwell.”
The result at Old Trafford leaves Solskjaer’s men languishing in 15th in the Premier League table after five fixtures, six points behind current leaders Everton.