Bruno Fernandes backs Man United to keep UCL hopes alive in crucial match at Galatasaray

Premier League club will be out of the Champions League if they lose away in Istanbul on Wednesday

Bruno Fernandes takes part in Manchester United training ahead of the trip to Istanbul to play Galatasaray. PA
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Bruno Fernandes has backed Manchester United to get through another “difficult situation” and keep alive their Champions League campaign when they face Galatasaray in a crucial match on Wednesday.

United face an uphill task to progress through to the last 16 having lost three of their first four matches to sit bottom of the group.

The Premier League club have lost away to Bayern Munich and Copenhagen and at home to Galatasaray, meaning another defeat in Istanbul would end their Champions League dreams with a match to spare.

“In the group, the feeling is that we have to win both games we have ahead to hope to go through,” United captain Fernandes said. “We know that’s going to be tough, but we have to think that we can do it because we have done it in the past in difficult situations.

“We get through some difficult periods, so we just have to do it again.”

Asked about the boost that United will get having won 3-0 at Everton before heading out to Turkey, Fernandes said: “We always feel confident because we know the qualities we have on the team.

“Obviously sometimes you don’t get the results you want but we feel confident because we have confidence in the team we have, in the players we have, in the process we are (going) through.

“We know that it’s already the second year with this manager, so some of the things have to be better and we have to improve that on the road to win games.”

United lost to Galatasaray 3-2 in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford last month and now face one of the most intimidating atmospheres in Europe – something Fernandes believes will help his team's performance rather than hinder it.

“We prepare for that,” the Portugal international said. “I think when you are a kid you want to play in this kind of atmosphere.

“You know that Galatasaray away is going to be great, is going to be an amazing atmosphere. I think, me as a player I love playing (in these) kind of stadiums because it’s a big boost for you.

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“I know it’s going to come against you, but it has to be a big boost playing in stadiums with a crowd like that. We’re pretty sure that our away fans will really give us something too.”

United will need to dig deep and stick together if they are to leave Istanbul with the victory they require.

Beyond the difficulties presented by the host team and fans, Ten Hag’s side will also be without the suspended Marcus Rashford and a string of first-team players in Istanbul.

“The other ones have to step [up],” Fernandes said. “They have to, like Kobbie [Mainoo] did [at Everton]. Everyone else that gets the chance, they have to make a big step and make a statement to be in the squad.”

Updated: November 28, 2023, 11:45 AM