Bruno Fernandes has urged his Manchester United team-mates to learn from their Carabao Cup failure, after a fourth semi-final defeat in just 12 months.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were beaten in the semi-final by rivals Manchester City – the fourth time in 12 months they have tasted defeat at the last-four stage of a competition.
United’s attentions turn to the FA Cup this weekend, where they face Watford on Saturday evening, as they look to improve on last season’s semi-final appearance against Chelsea.
And with the City failure still raw in the memory, talisman Fernandes took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the outcome and warn his team-mates to buck up their ideas ahead if the club are to be serious about lifting silverware.
‘I’m very sad and disappointed to once again don’t reach a final,’ he wrote on Instagram after breaking his silence on Thursday evening.
‘We have a lot to fight yet but we have to learn and understand that we can’t make the same mistakes anymore.
‘We need to make an effort to further improve and be able to fight for trophies!
Fernandes came in for criticism after the match from United icon Roy Keane, who was covering the game as a pundit for Sky Sports.
He questioned comparisons between Fernandes and Eric Cantona, suggesting that no real link can be drawn between the pair until the Portuguese can start helping his side to lift trophies.
Fernandes has made an incredible start to life at United, with his stats for scoring and assisting showing the influence he has from the middle of the par.
Indeed, his high numbers across the park bear an uncanny resemblance to those of Cantona when he began life at Old Trafford. However, Keane says the comparison is not warranted.
‘It’s not easy winning football trophies. Fernandes has had great praise for the last few months and people have been comparing him to [Eric] Cantona etc. Fernandes didn’t really do much tonight,’ said the former Sunderland boss.
‘The top players turn up in the big occasions. And that’s what the Cantona’s used to do – they get their hands on trophies. That’s where this team are a little bit short.
‘They probably need one or two more players to come into this squad, no doubt, and they need the mentality and confidence of winning a semi-final to get them over the line.
‘You then get momentum and they just didn’t quite have it tonight.