Bruno Fernandes is confident Manchester United will prove they are a “big team” as they attempt to kick on from a promising first campaign under Erik ten Hag.
This time last year, the Dutchman was sifting through the mess left by a wretched 2021-22 campaign in which embarrassing results compounded incoherent performances.
Ten Hag quickly stamped his mark on the team and oversaw United’s first trophy win since 2017, with the Carabao Cup triumph followed by a third-placed Premier League finish.
The Old Trafford giants also lost the FA Cup final to Manchester City and newly-appointed captain Fernandes is demanding more this time around.
“We did a really good season,” the skipper said. “It was not successful, but I think that our season was good.
“We started in the wrong way. We had two bad results, our away games were not the best. We didn’t get the best results. But I think overall the season was good.
“Obviously it was the first season for the manager, first season for many players.”
He continued: “Now we know that we have to improve game-wise and we will. We will improve it and we will show that we are a big team.
“Manchester United have to fight for everything. This club deserves that.
“We know when you come to a club like this that you have to fight for all the trophies that you are included in. That’s what we have to do.
“Fight for them, try our best to win every game that we have and that’s it.”
United certainly appear on the right track, with Mason Mount brought in from Chelsea and Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana following him to the club this week.
The Red Devils are now pushing for a striker to bolster a side that beat fellow title hopefuls Arsenal 2-0 on Saturday in New Jersey thanks to goals from Fernandes and Jadon Sancho.
The Portuguese scored as he led the side as permanent skipper for the first time since Ten Hag decided to take the armband off of Harry Maguire.
“There was a feeling I would like it to be me but I didn’t hear,” Fernandes said of the decision.
“The manager wanted to tell the team together. It is really good to be captain of Manchester United, it is a big achievement in my career but now there is a lot of work to do.
“The manager chose me because of what I was doing last season and the way he worked with me.
“He liked the way I work, my discipline, everything I give, my passion, everything I give, so I don’t see why I should change.
“(The approach) will be the same. I don’t need to change anything.
“You have to be as natural as you can because they all know me, they know I am really vocal, that I try to be open with everyone, be clear and try to help in the way I think is the best.
“Sometimes I can be wrong and not be the best way, but they know me really very well, so they know I will give everything for them.
“Everything I said to them is because I think they can do good things because they are big players in the dressing room.”