Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes has opened up on why he decided to allow Marcus Rashford take a penalty for Manchester United on Sunday during their 3-0 victory over Everton.
Rashford went ahead to score the penalty at Goodison Park.
The player who scored 30 goals for Manchester United last season has just 2 goals to his name.
Quizzed on why he passed the ball to Rashford, Portuguese playmaker Fernandes – who is the Red Devils’ go-to option on penalty duty – told Sky Sports: “Because I felt that Marcus needed a bit of confidence, needed goals. Marcus is an excellent penalty-taker too. I’m 100 per cent sure that he could score the penalty. It’s not about who takes it, it’s about scoring the penalty and Marcus did it perfectly.”
Rashford has faced plenty of uncomfortable questions this season, on the back of signing a lucrative new contract at Old Trafford, but Fernandes says none of the 26-year-old’s team-mates have ever doubted his quality. He said when asked if Rashford’s confidence has dipped: “Obviously strikers, wingers, they want to score goals, they need to score goals, that’s part of their game and it gives you a boost. After the penalty, Marcus was unstoppable – he could take on everyone. I think sometimes you need this chance, this opportunity to get confidence back. But Marcus has been great for us. Obviously last season he was amazing, so everyone’s expectations for this season were higher. It’s just about getting his goals back and everyone will stay say that he is world-class again.”
United boss Erik ten Hag added to BBC Match of the Day when asked how much Rashford needed his goal: “A lot. You see also how great captain Bruno is. He assessed his team-mate needed that goal. He has the confidence in Rashy, who is a good penalty taker. As a team you need that leadership that you back each other. We have to go step by step. This is one step.”