Bruno Fernandes predicts Donny van de Beek is going to be ‘very important’ for Manchester United and understood why the Dutchman was picked ahead of him for the FA Cup clash against Liverpool.
Van de Beek has struggled for game time since signing from Ajax in the summer transfer window but was handed his 10th start for the club, with Fernandes occupying a rare spot on the substitutes' bench, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side progressed to the fifth round by beating Liverpool 3-2.
Fernandes was needed off the bench to score the winner 12 minutes from time but the Portuguese star was not bothered about having to play back-up for his team-mates, although he did dispute that it was anything to do with being fatigued having played so many games.
"Tired? I’m 26 years old, I can't be tired. If I'm tired now, when I arrive at 30, 32, I will not play. I will play one game in five so, no, I'm not tired,” Fernandes said after the Old Trafford win.
“Of course the coach knows what is better for the team and today he chose to play with Donny to give some freshness to the team.
"I think it's fair enough because Donny is training really well, he's been important for us and will be more and more important in the future."
The win against Liverpool set up a clash with West Ham in the next round and, with United also top of the Premier League table at the halfway stage, there is a growing belief they can win at least one trophy.
While Solskjaer will not get drawn into any early talk of a title charge, Fernandes admitted that he has trophies in his sights.
“My confidence is higher, of course. I came to the club because I knew I would come to a club who wants to win everything and my mentality and my way to be in my life and football is about winning,” Fernandes explained. "And so you have to be confident, you have to trust your team-mates, you have to trust yourself, and you have to believe.
"And I will believe until it's not more possible, you know? Like when I see someone get the trophy before me then I will (have) lost my belief."
For now attentions turn back to the Premier League where United host Sheffield United on Wednesday hoping to maintain their grip at the top of the table. While Chris Wilder’s side sit bottom with only one win this season, Fernandes is not expecting it to be a walkover.
“They are a tough team. They are not doing well because they're not getting points but they're still a tough opponent to play against,” the United playmaker said. "But we have to look to ourselves and make our game and try to win."