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Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag demands Fulham apology over Bruno Fernandes TikTok and more protection for his captain

Erik ten Hag wants Fulham to apologise over a TikTok they posted which poked fun at Bruno Fernandes, suggesting he dived in Saturday's win at Manchester United; the Man Utd boss also says referees need to give his captain more protection because teams target him

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Fulham posted a video on TikTok poking fun at Bruno Fernandes during their win against Manchester United

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has demanded Fulham apologise for a mocking TikTok they made of Bruno Fernandes and called for officials to provide more protection for his captain.

Fulham's official TikTok account poked fun at Fernandes over a perceived dive in Saturday's win at United.

Fernandes overcame an injury from that game to play in Wednesday's FA Cup last-16 victory at Nottingham Forest, assisting Casemiro's late winner from a free-kick.

Ten Hag insists he is not one of the nearly 500,000 viewers of the video on TikTok, but was not happy it had been published by Fulham.

Erik ten Hag rushed to the defence of Bruno Fernandes
Image: Erik ten Hag rushed to the defence of Bruno Fernandes after Manchester United's win at Nottingham Forest

"I did not know about this video," he said. "If they did this I would say it is not right. It is absolutely not right. It is not right for a club to make such statements. They should apologise for this."

Sky Sports News understands there was no offence intended on Fulham's behalf regarding the video they posted of Fernandes on TikTok.

Fernandes had his throat grabbed by Forest defender Felipe late on in the win at the City Ground and was on the end of a few robust challenges.

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Casemiro stoops to head in his winning goal
Image: Casemiro stoops to head in his winning goal

Asked if Fernandes needs more protection, Ten Hag added: "He is a very passionate player. He is a very creative player. He is creating the most chances in the Premier League.

"You see opponents targeting him, especially after Saturday when he had the knock and they see it. Then I feel the refereeing should protect him."

Ten Hag says despite his rough treatment at Forest, Fernandes will be fit enough to face Manchester City on Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Raphael Varane, who was also a doubt, is available too.

United will not have any players returning from injury for the trip to the Etihad.

Ten Hag: Liverpool a very good challenge for us

United were on the right end this time of a late winner
Image: United were on the right end this time of a late winner

The history of United and English football could have turned out very differently if Mark Robins had not scored for the club against Nottingham Forest back in January 1990. Sir Alex Ferguson was on the brink of being sacked when Robins struck the winner in an FA Cup third-round tie.

It prevented a fourth straight trophy-less season for Ferguson and the rest, as they say, is history. This dramatic victory - witnessed by Sir Alex in the stands - provides a welcome shot in the arm for Ten Hag.

His injury-hit United not only bounced back from the home loss to Fulham but avoided extra-time exertions before this weekend's derby with Manchester City.

Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at the City Ground
Image: Sir Alex Ferguson was in the stands at the City Ground

Ten Hag added: "It's big - we want to win every competition - the team fighting, showing determination, passion and desire.

"They showed it today, we were disappointed after Saturday but we showed resilience. We have serious problems at the back four - happy Rapha [Raphael Varane] and Bruno (Fernandes) fought to be part of this game. It was so important, Bruno's assist.

"It was hard to line up, especially the back four - it was a puzzle. We found the right formation and organisation - first half although we created chances, we allowed them some counters.

"After that we took control of the game - we were calm, composed - we got the switches, we took control, didn't allow counter-attacks, very pleased with the second half - pleased with the spirit and desire showed."

On facing Liverpool in the next round, the United boss said: "There are many good teams in the Premier League - Liverpool are top so it's a very good challenge for us. We are looking forward to Sunday [against Manchester City]."

Nuno: My players felt there was an illegal block

Nuno Espirito Santo greets Ten Hag on Wednesday
Image: Nuno Espirito Santo greets Ten Hag on Wednesday

Casemiro's goal survived a lengthy VAR check as Varane, who was in an offside position, blocked a couple of Forest players, but he was ruled not to be interfering in play.

Such has been Forest's frustration at refereeing decisions in recent weeks, they have appointed Mark Clattenburg to act as a conduit to the PGMOL and he was spotted sat next to Howard Webb.

This was another decision that went against them but boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who swatted away Ten Hag's suggestions of targeting Fernandes, did not want to dwell on it.

Nuno said: "I didn't see clearly the images but speaking with the players they say it is a block and a possible offside. They checked it.

"We have had so many issues in this period with VAR and referees that we try to forget about it and move forward.

"I think it was a good performance, we played good, much better than the previous game, so improvement from that.

"It is frustrating to lose it in the end but I think we played good, football is cruel sometimes and today we are on that side."

Broad: Fair result but 'moan' United won't beat Liverpool

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After reporting on Manchester United's 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest for Soccer Special, former England cricketer Stuart Broad claims there's a culture of moaning at Old Trafford, led by captain Bruno Fernandes

Stuart Broad on Soccer Special:

"Ultimately, I don't think any Forest fan can have any complaints about the result. Manchester United had the extra quality and probably just about deserved it.

"(Andre) Onana had to make five saves and they were all straight at him. If Forest had found the corner with one of them, they'd have gone ahead. United won it late on with a bit of controversy over a potential offside but the block wasn't interfering so it was the right call.

Confirmed FA Cup quarter-final line-up

  • Wolves vs Coventry
  • Manchester United vs Liverpool
  • Chelsea vs Leicester
  • Manchester City vs Newcastle

"It was poor defending to allow the free-kick to come in at the near post and for Casemiro to get to the ball first. I'm gutted, but I'm sure 99 per cent of the football world will be happy we've got Man Utd vs Liverpool in the quarter-finals.

"I thought United were pretty average. They're a weird watch as I grew up watching the team under Sir Alex Ferguson. It's quite tiring watching Fernandes. He has his arms up for almost every decision and that feeds into the rest of the team.

"There's a moany culture out there on the field of play that they need to try and shake as they've got natural quality there. It would be a surprise for me if they were to beat Liverpool in the next round. There's something missing with United and the players lack that same intensity."

Rooney: Ten Hag will get time

Erik ten Hag watches his side in FA Cup action
Image: Erik ten Hag watches his side in FA Cup action

Former Man Utd forward Wayne Rooney told the BBC: "It is a massive victory, and not the best of games. Both sides missed good chances but that's a big win for Manchester United.

"You want big players to have big moments and Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro combined at the end. A lot is made about Erik ten Hag's position but he has been doing OK. We are starting to see more consistency and I think he will get time."

On Marcus Rashford's form: "You need the team to create chances for you if you are playing as a number nine. Marcus Rashford needs to be more ruthless and be patient and stay in the middle of the goal. You just want to see more from him.

"Confidence is the main factor, he hasn't been scoring regularly this season and he maybe needs to simplify his game to get back in the groove.

"He's not the most vocal lad. His body language doesn't look great at times but he's not like that. The senior players need to get more out of him and get him fired up."

What's next?

Nottingham Forest host Premier League leaders Liverpool at the City Ground on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.

Man Utd travel to the Etihad Stadium to face cross-town neighbours Man City on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm, kick-off 3.30pm.

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