Bruno Fernandes has revealed that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to force him off the training ground to stop him straining himself taking free-kicks.
The Portuguese midfielder’s practice at Carrington was vindicated on Sunday as he smashed in a free-kick to secure the 3-2 FA Cup fourth round victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Fernandes’ winner, plus goals from Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford means the Reds will meet West Ham at home in the next round of the competition.
The 26-year-old had been given a rare rest by Solskjaer ahead of two vital Premier League games this week but made his decisive impact from the bench.
And he spoke post-match about how he enjoys learning from Juan Mata’s technique on the training ground as he looks to better his own set-pieces.
“Almost every day [I practice free-kicks], sometimes he [Solskjaer] has to kick me out of training to stop,” Fernandes told MUTV, as quoted by the MEN.
“I’m always working on that kind of situation, I like to watch and learn from Juan [Mata]. He’s a really good specialist and me and Juan stay out a lot, also Rashy, Alex [Telles], Fred, although I think it’s just for fun with Fred.
“Normally long distance is more for Rashy, for me the distance closer to the box is better for me and the kind of shot I have, if Juan or Alex are on the pitch it’s a chance for them on the right side.
“We have good free-kick takers but it depends on the moment, I felt good in that moment.”
Fernandes, Rashford and Fred all stood over the ball in the 78th minute against Liverpool but there was only ever going to be one taker and the playmaker caught out Alisson fine effort towards the Brazilian’s near post.
United return to Premier League action on Wednesday where Fernandes will almost certainly start as Solskjaer utilises his strong squad.