Bruno Fernandes: Manchester United midfielder says winning Europa League is 'not enough' for the club

Manchester United play Roma in the Europa League on Thursday with the score 6-2 on aggregate after a dominant semi-final first leg at Old Trafford; Bruno Fernandes wants to see his team-mates Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba stay at the club beyond the end of the campaign

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Bruno Fernandes says winning the Europa League would show Manchester United are "growing" as a club after they ended last season without a trophy

Bruno Fernandes says winning the Europa League would constitute an improvement but would still be "not enough" for Manchester United, with the midfielder targeting long-term success at the club.

United won the Europa League in 2017 and will have the chance to do so again should they progress through to the final, which is to be played in Gdansk, Poland on May 26, by beating Roma on aggregate on Thursday night in the sides' semi-final second leg.

Fernandes made two assists, scored with a ninth-minute chip from inside the box, and added a second-half penalty in the first leg at Old Trafford, which helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side towards a 6-2 victory that puts them in an advantageous position going into the away tie in the Italian capital.

The midfielder, who insists he did not perform well during last Thursday's victory, would achieve his first major honour as a United player if they win the Europa League. But the Portugal international has stressed the squad cannot allow themselves to be satisfied even if they end this season with a trophy.

Bruno Fernandes has been a virtual ever-present for Man Utd this term
Image: Bruno Fernandes has scored five goals and made three assists in seven Europa League games this season

"For us, it is a signal of improvement if we win the Europa League, because last season we didn't win anything. So, if we win a trophy this season it is an improvement - but still not enough for us," he said.

"But it is something growing up from the club. From the players, it is a sign that we are doing a little bit better, but we have still a lot to improve on as I said before, and we will improve.

"Honestly, when you play for a club like this your standard has to be high.

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"For me, the game against Roma was not my best, but of course on numbers, everyone will say it is the best one I have done because the two goals and two assists I think was the first time I did it for the club, but of course it was a good game.

"I think also individually I played really well but I want to improve. I want to improve so I have to do maybe next time two assists and two goals, or three goals and two assists to improve again, but the most important for me is the way we win and we are closer to getting the trophy."

Paul Pogba was deployed both centrally and then out on the right on Sunday
Image: Fernandes wishes to see Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba remain at Manchester United

Speculation has mounted over Edinson Cavani's future at Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to tie the Uruguay forward down to another year at the club, despite him being linked with a move to Boca Juniors in Argentina.

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has fuelled further transfer talk surrounding the midfielder by indicating he wants to see the France international win trophies at United or at another club.

Fernandes is eager for them both to remain as United players beyond the end of the season and feels their presence will be key if the club are to challenge for trophies on a consistent basis.

"Of course we know they are really important for us, the qualities they have for us are difficult to find on the market for a good price," he said.

"I think everyone knows the team is moving up and with their help too so it is important for us that we keep our best players and we keep improving the team."

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Ashley Young discusses the recent protests by Manchester United fans against the club's owners, the Glazer family

Fernandes unaffected by anti-Glazer protests

United's game with Liverpool in the Premier League was postponed after thousands of fans gathered at Old Trafford to express displeasure towards the Glazer family's ownership. Some fans broke into the stadium and onto the pitch while there were clashes with police. Greater Manchester Police, the FA, and the Premier League are continuing with their investigations into last Sunday's events.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust has revealed thousands of fans have joined their cause as full members in the past week, with many of those supporters making donations too. The hike in membership follows the collapse of the ESL and subsequent apology from Joel Glazer to Manchester United fans.

Fernandes says it was "hard" not being able to play but believes he and the United squad can quickly move on from Sunday's disruption, which has impacted their fixture schedule going into the final weeks of the season.

"Of course for us it was hard because we want to play football, this is what it was about for us," he said.

"We prepared well for a big game. Of course, a chance to play these kinds of games is always good and the feeling was good between us because we were ready to play.

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Manchester United owner Avram Glazer refused to apologise to fans over the disastrous attempt to form a breakaway European Super League, when approached by Sky News

"It was a good week for us, we played really well against Roma before and the confidence was high, but this happened and we have nothing to say about that.

"The fans have their own word and they think that was the best for them, they did it and we have nothing to say about that honestly. Our focus is playing football and doing our best for the club.

"What happened on Sunday passes over, for me and we will see when we play against Liverpool again, the most important thing is for the team winning games. Of course for the players, all we want is to play football."

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Football sponsorship expert Ian George believes if the price is right, the Glazer family could sell Manchester United amid continued fan unrest directed towards their ownership of the club

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Protests went too far | Club must listen to fans

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reiterated the need for Manchester United supporters to be listened to, but said protests had to be "civilised" and feels Sunday's anti-Glazer demonstration "went too far".

Solskjaer said: "It was a difficult day for us. Of course we wanted to play, we wanted to beat Liverpool for the fans because our job has to be on getting good performances and good results on the pitch.

"As I said before the game, we have to listen. We have to hear the fans' voice.

"It's everyone's right to protest. It has to be in a civilised manner though.

"Unfortunately, when you break in and when police officers get injured, scarred for life, that's too far.

"When it gets out of hand like this, it's a police matter. It's not about showing your opinions anymore."

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