MANCHESTER UNITED star Fred admits that it has “not been a good start” for him under Erik ten Hag.
The 29-year-old midfielder was named in the starting XI for the opening day defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford and the 4-0 thrashing at Brentford, where he was subbed off at half time.
The Brazil international was then dropped by new boss Ten Hag and only featured from the bench as United recorded four straight victories.
Fred was restored to the side for the Europa League defeat to Real Sociedad but returned to the bench for the win at Sheriff in the club’s last outing.
Both he and fellow midfielder Scott McTominay have faced fierce criticism from United legends such as Roy Keane and Paul Scholes for their displays.
However, Fred believes that is “fair” as he admitted that he has been struggling under Ten Hag.
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Speaking while on international duty ahead of Brazil’s friendlies with Ghana and Tunisia, he said: “I stay calm and try to do my work in the best possible way.
“Unfortunately this has not been a good start for the season. But now we have been fitting in as a team, with a better understanding of what the manager wants, and I am well aware of my value here.
“Thank God I was picked once more to play for Brazil. So I know my worth and everybody can say whatever they want, because I will not lose my focus.
“Whether I start a match or not, I will keep working hard.”
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Fred has most often been deployed as one of the holding midfielders since joining United from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018.
However, with Christian Eriksen taking up that position, the South American was placed in a more advanced role against Sociedad and usually figures in the box-to-box role for his country, which is the one he most favours.
He admits he needs a “better understanding” of Ten Hag while also revealing that he hopes to line-up with his countryman Casemiro for United and get more freedom.
Fred added: “In that match [Sociedad] I was more of a No 10, coming from the left, working closer to [Cristiano] Ronaldo. I had played as such in my career, but that was a long time ago.
“Casemiro is a player everybody knows, whose history we all admire. And Ten Hag is a very clever man, a great manager.
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“It’s a process, it’s not easy to make it work overnight, but we’ve been improving as a team.
“The manager and I have already spoken about my preference for the No 8 role, which is the ideal to me. But these days in football you’ve got to be versatile.”
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