Bruno Fernandes has “a question mark” over his fitness, Erik ten Hag said ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League clash with Tottenham.The midfielder was forced off during United’s FA Cup semi-final win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday with an ankle injury and was later pictured in a protective boot.With Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane already sidelined in a blow to United’s defence, the loss of Fernandes would hurt Ten Hag’s side going forward.But on the eve of the trip to Spurs, the manager could not confirm whether Fernandes would be available.But the Dutchman is not ready to reveal whether the midfielder will sit out their crucial encounter with Spurs or if he could yet be available to feature.
“There are some unavailable,” he said. “Martinez, Varane. We have to see how Bruno Fernandes is. We don’t know yet. He is a question mark.
“It’s more often that players [wear the boot], that we protect them. But [the ankle] has to settle down. We all have seen he played the full game [90 minutes before extra time].
“It happened in the first half. [The game is] Thursday, so tomorrow is quick, but we have to see what is possible.”
The win on penalties at Wembley was an effective tonic for an ailing United side after they had lost emphatically at Sevilla to crash out of the Europa League three days earlier.David de Gea and Harry Maguire both committed costly errors leading to goals in that game, but Ten Hag has continued to talk up their character as the pair recover.
“They are resilient,” he said. “They are able to do it. It’s not easy, but they can do it. You can have a bad setback but show your character to bounce back.
“I am the Manchester United manager. I have to make sure our players are ready tomorrow against a good opponent, good team, good players. I have to focus [and make sure] they have energy.”
Now, United will face a Tottenham team reeling from a 6-1 rout at the hands of top-four rivals Newcastle United last time out.Harry Kane, who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, scored the only Spurs goal.
“It’s quite clear, his impact on the game for Spurs,” Ten Hag said of Kane. “We have a plan for that. You have to defend as a team. He’s a clever player, he can have a big impact on the game.”