Erik ten Hag sticks with under-fire Bruno Fernandes after Anfield criticism
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Sunday saw the Old Trafford giants suffer the joint heaviest competitive defeat in the club's history, just a week after they celebrated winning their first silverware in six years,
The 7-0 defeat at bitter rivals Liverpool will live long in the memory and the second-half capitulation raised questions about the mentality of the group more than the team's quality.
Fernandes, who captained the side in the absence of Harry Maguire, has come in for particular criticism, with former skipper Roy Keane saying his body language was a "disgrace".
Gary Neville offered a similarly scathing criticism of the Portuguese, saying it "wasn't a captain's performance by a Manchester United player" - the kind of stinging assessment that led Ten Hag to stand up for the 28-year-old.
Asked if Fernandes will continue to captain the side going forward, manager Ten Hag said: "Yes, definitely. I think he's playing a brilliant season. He's had a really important role in why we're in the position where we are because he's giving energy to the team.
"He's not only running a lot at the highest intensity but also in the right way and right direction. He's pointing and coaching players.
"He's an inspiration for the whole team but no one is perfect. Everyone has his mistakes and everyone has to learn. I have to learn and he will learn as well because he's intelligent.
"I'm really happy to have Bruno Fernandes in my team and I am really happy that Bruno Fernandes, if Harry is not on the pitch, is our captain."
Marcus Rashford also defended Fernandes as the group look to bounce back against Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash tonight.
"We have to set conclusions and that's what we did," Ten Hag said, having held a debrief on Monday with the players.
"Of course we talked about (it) and we have seen that game and set the right conclusions. From there on we have to reset and bounce back."