Fred rubbishes Man Utd exit talk; points to his Old Trafford turning point
Date published: Tuesday 22nd October 2019 2:02
The Brazilian midfielder was signed in a big-money £52m deal from Shakhtar Donetsk in summer 2018, but has largely struggled to live up to expectations and amid unusual claims about why he was signed in the first place.
And Fred’s performance was subjected to plenty of criticism with BBC pundit Martin Keown tearing strips of the midfielder on Match of the Day 2, while Gary Neville was left to angrily point the finger at Ed Woodward and the United board.
And following his woeful display against Newcastle prior to the international break, reports suggested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had lost patience with the Brazilian and had earmarked an impressive Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder as a January replacement for Fred, who would be allowed to move on.
“My first season was difficult but that is normal when a footballer changes league,” he said. “The Ukrainian league isn’t as strong as the Premier League. It’s faster and more physical here.
“You need to start games strongly and finish them strongly. It’s the full force for 90 minutes, but it takes time to adapt to English football when you come from Ukraine, even though I was playing against some of the best teams in the Champions League, but I believe I am adapting.”
“I’m learning day by day. I feel like I’m getting better. I have a big heart. I will play better,” he said. “I like Manchester. My family are here and they like it too. They are speaking English. I’m having English classes, too, but it’s not possible all the time because we travel a lot but we speak lots of languages here.
“I have a good relationship with the manager and the coaches. I speak to the coach [Mike Phelan] every day. And to Michael [Carrick] and Kieran [McKenna]. Michael played in my position – he knows what he is saying. They are always encouraging me and I feel the support of fans, too. And I thank them for that.”
Fred points to change in fortunes at Man Utd
Fred believes his display against Liverpool offered some grounds for encouragement despite some struggles against Georginio Wijnaldum and says he hopes the 1-1 draw will act as a platform for bigger and better things for him in a United shirt.
“Personally, I’m happy how I played in my first ‘clasico’ against Liverpool,” he said. “We’re just all a little frustrated that we didn’t hold on to the lead, but we have to be encouraged.
“We played at a very good pace against Liverpool. We needed that, we haven’t started the league well, but we played with heart, we played with force, we attacked quickly, especially in the first half. The second half we continued well but it was more equal.”