The Portuguese has only played in front of a home crowd four times since his arrival but says he is buoyed by fans even as Old Trafford stands quiet
Bruno Fernandes has admitted that he tries to celebrate every strike and success for Manchester United as if in the presence of their die-hard supporters amid the Premier League’s empty stadiums.
The Portuguese has been restricted to just four home matches with fans in attendance since his arrirval at the start of last year, with the Covid-19 pandemic ensuring closed-doors encounters across the top-flight, domestic competition and Europe.
But the talismanic playmaker – the key driving force behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s revival and surprise title challenge this term – says that he attempts to honour every goal home and away as if Red Devils fans were lining the terraces rather than watching on their televisions.
Speaking to the club’s website, Fernandes opened up on how he and his teammates attempt to generate their own morale boost in the absence of supporters, as well as the inspiration he draws when he encounters them away from matchdays.
“When you score you want to celebrate,” he stated. “Some players when they score they don’t have that feeling to celebrate.
“[That is] because there is nobody there and we have to make our own way to celebrate and make the atmosphere happy when we score as if the fans were there.
“One of the things the fans told me when we started to play behind closed doors is that when we score you need to celebrate like we are there with you.
“I’m trying to do that, sometimes it’s difficult because you are not in the mood and maybe you don’t feel it, but I’m trying to do it like they are there or if they are at home then they are feeling that I’m happy and I am with them.”
Fernandes admitted that while he did not feel robbed of the experience of adoration from the Old Trafford faithful, he was still a touch frustrated to not be playing out the dream experience he had hoped for upon signing.
“[I’m] just a little bit disappointed because, as I’ve said before, coming to the Premier League and coming to play for Manchester United, the atmosphere of the game day, I’m not living that at all,” he added.
“I’m feeling the support of them [the fans] on social media and when we can see them sometimes if I go to the supermarket and they say some words because we can’t be closer than that.
“It’s really good when you have that support [but], of course, coming from the stands would be much better.”