Gary Neville thinks players shouldn’t apologise for missing penalties after Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes’ social media essay following his failed effort against Aston Villa.
Fernandes stepped up to take his 23rd penalty as a United player in the final minutes of their clash with Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 1-0 down.
The Portuguese had only missed once from 12 yards from his previous 22 attempts, but sent his latest spot-kick flying over the crossbar and ultimately cost his team a valuable point, which he acknowledged in a post to his followers online.
Fernandes wrote on Instagram: “Nobody is more frustrated and disappointed than me for missing the penalty and the consequent defeat.
“I’ve always assumed my responsibilities and I’ve always embraced them under pressure in moments like this. Today I failed, but I took a step forward and faced the challenge with the same ambition and responsibility as when, on the many other occasions, the ball ended up in the net.
“Today I once again took the responsibility given to me almost since I joined Manchester United and I will take it again without any fear or dread whenever called upon.
“The most important thing for me is to win together and I’ll always do everything I can to help my teammates and the club to be the best we can be.
“Thank you for all your support after the final whistle! Hearing you chanting my name in the stadium was very emotional. I will come back stronger for me, because these are the standards I hold myself to, but most of all for my teammates and our fans who have always supported us.”
United legend Neville referred to Fernandes’ comments when taking part in a Q&A session on Twitter, expressing his belief players need to take control of their own public relations instead of allowing their representatives to create a false online profile.
In response to a tweet asking “Should players really be apologising for missing penalties?”, the former England international wrote: “It’s embarrassing! They need to sack their PR people, speak with some authenticity and get on with it.
“I’m going to go big on this in the next few weeks. They’ve all got these comms managers, that are creating personalities that don’t exist!”