Bruno Fernandes says Manchester United are not just there to make up the numbers in the Premier League title race. The Red Devils have not been crowned champions since 2013 – and the £47million midfielder says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are aiming to end that drought despite a poor start to the season.
United return to top-flight action next Saturday with a home game against West Brom, as they look to build on their victory over Everton last time out.
And the clash against the winless Baggies appears to be the perfect chance for Fernandes and his team-mates to put their stuttering early-season form behind them and end their Old Trafford hoodoo.
United have lost three of their opening seven Premier League games this campaign – with all three defeats coming at the Theatre of Dreams.
It is a far cry from the form that saw Solskjaer’s side surge up the table in the second half of last season after Fernandes signed in the January transfer window.
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United finished third and secured a Champions League spot, and there was some hope they could start to bridge the yawning gap to Liverpool and Manchester City.
But performances this season have so far fallen way short of the standard set by the top two last term.
Liverpool and City have also been below their best so far this season, though. United are currently 15th, two points behind City in 10th, while Liverpool are a further five points ahead in third place.
And Fernandes says he and his team-mates have serious ambitions of winning a first league title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge.
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“For me, to come to a club like Manchester United is the same as why I went to Sporting – it was to win trophies,” said the 26-year-old, talking on United’s official podcast.
“I come to Manchester with the same mentality. For me, it doesn’t matter about the other teams.
“People may say they are better than us, they have a better first XI than us, the guys who come from the bench are better.
“People can say what they think, I don’t care. For me, I came to Manchester to win trophies.”
United count 20 league titles and three European Cups among the club’s huge trophy haul – and Fernandes insisted the current squad have a responsibility to live up to that history.
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United count 20 league titles and three European Cups among the club’s huge trophy haul – and Fernandes insisted the current squad have a responsibility to live up to their history.
“You are playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world,” said the Portugal star, who came up against club-mate Paul Pogba in his country’s 1-0 defeat to France on Saturday.
“This club has made history in the past – an amazing history. For a club like Manchester United, it’s a long time since we won the Premier League. It’s too long, I think.
“So you have to have in your mind – all the players, all the staff – we are here to win. And I think we have that mentality.”
Next Saturday’s clash will see Slaven Bilic’s side target their first win of the season, having lost five and drawn three of their Premier League games so far this season.
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