Fred opens up on "suffering" he endured during debut season at Man Utd

Manchester United midfielder Fred had a tough start to life in the Premier League.

Expectations were high when the Brazilian arrived from Shakhtar Donetsk for a hefty £47million fee.

But he initially struggled to adapt and was branded by many as United’s latest big-money flop.

Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho as manager, Fred has gone from strength to strength and become a vital cog in their journey to the top of the Premier League table.

And the 27-year-old has now opened up on the “suffering” he endured amid widespread criticism during his first campaign as a United player.

Speaking to Globo Esporte, Fred said: “The first season was very difficult, I think many players suffer from it.

"I suffered a lot with my first season, even for the amount they paid. You come with a high expectation, it turns out that if you don't play all the games well, you will be criticised.

“I suffered a lot of criticism from the press and the fans, but I always kept motivating myself, working. I never dropped the shuttlecock.

“I was even treated as a ‘flop’, a contract that doesn't pay. But I kept working my best.

“In the second season I started without playing, I stayed a few games away and then I managed to get the starting place.

“And then I came in a good sequence, I managed to win over the fans, the coach, the press, who speaks well. It is the result of hard work, it is not overnight.

"If people criticise, you have to keep working. Sometimes it is good to hear criticism because you are more attentive.

“I heard some people on my side saying that I have to improve. Today I came back, I'm very happy and I want to stay for many years.”

Asked about his individual improvement as a player, Fred added: “I think particularly what I improved was defensively.

“I didn't score so well. I played for the biggest team in Ukraine, and there is a game where we used to keep the ball a lot, and it turns out that it didn’t require a lot of marking.

“Arriving here in the Premier League is different, you have to have a better fight, be faster with the ball.

“This I improved a lot, think faster. There are some things that I couldn't do better in the first season, but I've been improving.

“And today I'm getting along with it. I think the main thing was the defensive part. In the offensive part, I improved the pass a lot, getting the ball faster in the congested medium, positioning. This improves with each workout and the trend is only to grow.”

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