Roy Keane has suggested Bruno Fernandes still has to prove he is a ‘top player’ and says the Manchester United midfielder did not turn up in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat.
The Red Devils lost their fourth semi-final in succession against rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford, with goals from John Stones and Fernandinho securing a 2-0 win for the visitors who will take on Spurs in the final in April.
Although Keane felt United played well and were simply outclassed by an excellent City team, he believes the onus is on Fernandes to step up in big matches to get United over the line in their quest for silverware.
Asked how United can end their run of defeats in semi-finals, having also lost in the FA Cup to Chelsea and the Europa League to Sevilla, Keane said on Sky Sports: ‘It’s not easy, it’s not easy winning football trophies.
‘Fernandes has had great praise and over the past month people have been comparing him to people like Eric Cantona etcetera.
‘But Cantona [won trophies]. Fernandes didn’t really do much tonight.
‘The top players turn up on the big occasions, and that’s what the Cantona’s used to do to get their hands on trophies. And that’s where this team is a little bit short.
‘And they just didn’t quite have it tonight. But credit to City. United were up against an outstanding Manchester City team tonight who turned up and put on a good show.’
United still have plenty to play for this season, with Keane continuing: ‘The next game is always your most important game. Against Watford [in the FA Cup], Championship team, no doubt United will rotate and rest some players.
‘And then Burnley certainly won’t be an easy game for them but you can’t take your eyes off the Liverpool game. If United go and win at Burnley and then win at Liverpool, they could be six points clear of Liverpool.
‘Bizarre when you think of the start to the season that United had, so United, Ole and the players have to stay positive and look forward to the upcoming games.’