Man Utd caretaker Michael Carrick’s private chat with Bruno Fernandes ahead of Villarreal
Carrick calls for focus after emotional few days at Man Utd
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Manchester United caretaker boss Michael Carrick had a private chat with Bruno Fernandes on his first day in charge, according to reports. The former midfielder will oversee tonight’s Champions League tie with Villarreal in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking. And victory will see the Red Devils through to the knockout stages of the competition.
Manchester United opted to end the Solskjaer era on Sunday, less than 24 hours after they’d been blown away by Watford at Vicarage Road.
And Carrick is now temporarily in charge while the Glazers and Ed Woodward hunt down an interim replacement.
The United legend won five Premier League titles as a player at Old Trafford but, now, is facing the biggest time of his career.
And the Daily Mail reports that, on his first day at the helm, Carrick had a private chat with Fernandes.
Fernandes was one of the players who stood by Solskjaer in the aftermath of the defeat to Watford, telling fans to vent their fury at the players as well as the manager.
Carrick could feasibly have talked to him to see whether he was still unhappy following the defeat at Watford.
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And he may even have talked with Fernandes about his solo pressing, which is thought to be ‘frustrating’ coaches behind the scenes.
Fernandes was a key player under Solskjaer, netting 28 goals across all competitions last term as the club finished second in the Premier League table.
But he’s found the net just four times in comparison so far this term.
United thought Fernandes would get even better when they re-signed Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer to play at the tip of their attack.
Yet the duo seem incompatible at present, with Solskjaer unable to get the best from them prior to his departure.
While Carrick is caretaker manager, United are looking ahead to the summer.
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Mauricio Pochettino is their No 1 target to take over, having admired the Paris Saint-Germain boss for a number of years.
Pochettino is reportedly keen on the United job, having failed to settle in France since replacing Thomas Tuchel in January.
He eyed a return to Tottenham in the summer, only to be told the Ligue 1 giants wouldn’t let him go.
However, with United, things could be different.
PSG have supposedly made contact with Zinedine Zidane, eyeing the Frenchman in case Pochettino quits the Parc des Princes.
It’s feasible a managerial turnaround will take place, though the Argentine could still see out the season.
United have insisted that they want an interim boss to see them through to the end of the campaign.
Laurent Blanc is one candidate, despite the 56-year-old currently working in the Middle East with Al-Rayyan.
Ralf Rangnick is another, even though the board have dismissed him in the past for being too combative.
And Steve Bruce is interested in the United job, believing he can stabilise the club’s dressing room.
Meanwhile, ahead of tonight’s match with Villarreal, Solskjaer praised Carrick as being ‘top’.
“As I’ve said to them this morning as well, trust yourselves, you know we’re better than this,” he told MUTV.
“We’ve not been able to show it but go out, chest out, enjoy being a Man United player, in the Champions League, on the biggest stage.
“If and when you win the game, you’re through to the next round, Michael [Carrick] is going to be in charge.
“Michael, I have the utmost respect [for], I love Michael to bits. I’m becoming emotional now because he’s top.
“They’ll be fine. I’ll watch them and support them.”
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