Bruno Fernandes says the Manchester United players’ reaction after the 2-2 draw with Leicester in December was decisive in their pursuit of the Premier League title.
United are now four points clear at the top of the table as they host Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday.
A 13-game unbeaten run has seem them become genuine title contenders after a poor start to the season.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were clost to faultless over the festive period with the exception of the 2-2 draw at Leicester, where Jamie Vardy’s deflected striker found rescued a point for the Foxes.
But Fernandes claims the frustration in the dressing room after the game was a sign that his side had the mentality of champions.
“After the Leicester game when we drew in the last minute, I was really happy to see the frustration on the team when I got to the dressing room,” he told Football Focus.
“It was the first time I saw a real frustration after drawing a game.
“When I arrived I could see that the team was growing up. Game by game, we started to do better and better.
“Now, almost one year after I arrived, I think we still have problems. You can see we concede a lot of goals in the beginning of games.”
The attacking midfielder also defended Liverpool over their recent form, claiming that they haven’t got the results their performances deserve.
“I think teams have moments. I don’t think Liverpool are playing poorly. I think they don’t win and this is the point,” Fernandes said.
He also defended Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino over their form, after Liverpool failed to score in their fourth successive Premier League match on Thursday in the 1-0 defeat to Burnley.
“When teams don’t win, everyone talks about that. When players don’t score, everyone talks about that,” Fernandes explained.
“I feel that on me because I know the standard is high, because I arrived and I scored a lot of goals and make a lot of assists, and everyone is wanting goals and assists from me.
“It is the same – everyone expects goals from (Mohamed) Salah, from (Roberto) Firmino and from (Sadio) Mane. They are not scoring in the last games and it starts feeling like ‘oh, they are not playing well’.”