Few images define Dan James’ tough start to life in Manchester United’s first season than his late celebration against Crystal Palace.
James posed to celebrate clinching a late point, while Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford furiously tried to rush him back to help United go on to score a winner. (Of course Palace would go on to get the clinching goal).
But what that showed was a young player whose mentality needed some adjustment, as you might expect from a 22-year-old who was playing in the Championship last season.
United’s other attacking signing this season was Bruno Fernandes, and he clearly gets it already.
At a moment in which the team are gladly revelling in finishing as high as third place, having been written off earlier in the campaign, Fernandes is refusing to get carried away.
Fernandes told the club website he wants to win trophies, and that is when he will feel a real sense of achievement.
He told the club website: “
We feel good, it’s what we wanted. We trained hard and we worked hard for this moment. We know the only thing we could achieve this season was getting into the Champions League, so we fought hard for that.“
“But we are not happy enough because we know this club and these players, they can bring much more for the club. I think we have qualities enough to fight for some titles – more than one title, you know? I think we need to win some trophies and then we’ll be really happy.
A winner’s attitude
Fernandes’ comments are positive to hear. There is no sense in getting carried away by this.
United have so much work to do, you only have to look at the points gap between ourselves and both City and Liverpool.
But one step at a time. United have a chance to win silverware as soon as next month with the Europa League.
It is a shame not to have the FA Cup final to look forward to next week, but to reach two semi-finals in domestic cups this season is a sign the team is on the right course.
This month is about using the transfer window wisely too, to set ourselves up for future success.
United have the foundation now to go on and get to where we want to be. If Fernandes was satisfied with just finishing third, there would be a problem, but he clearly understands where the club aspire to get back to.
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