BANGKOK, Thailand — Fred has told ESPN that dressing room leaks at Manchester United will have to stop, but the Brazilian midfielder insists stories of a divided squad last season were overblown.
Suggestions of unrest among players at Old Trafford overshadowed an already miserable campaign as United slumped to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
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And as the squad begins their new era under Erik ten Hag, Fred has urged his teammates to help their chances of success by sticking together and “minimising” rumors leaking out.
“Manchester United are a huge club, one of the biggest in the world so there’ll always be rumors about the dressing room and numerous other things and we need to minimize this,” Fred said in an interview with ESPN in Bangkok.
“Unfortunately, a lot of fake news comes out in the media trying to harm our dressing room. We weren’t doing well in the league.
“We have to protect ourselves from this, remaining strong and most importantly supporting your teammates every day.
“Last season we weren’t good enough in everything we did.
“It’s behind us now. We now have to think about the future, next season. We need to forget about last season, identify the mistakes and not repeat them.”
Ten Hag is set to take charge of his first game on Tuesday when United play Liverpool in the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok.
The Dutchman is stepping up his preparations for the new season on the summer tour of Thailand and Australia after having two weeks with his players at Carrington and Fred says the new boss has already made an impression.
“He’s a great manager, everyone knows what he’s achieved,” he said.
“I’m sure great things are coming. He’s very detailed in his work. I really like his work, I followed it at Ajax.
“He’s always on the pitch making demands of us, constantly communicating with the players. This is really important for both me and the group.
“There are some new rules. There are things that he asks you to do, that’s part of his work and our daily routine. We have to embrace them and work hard to improve.”
Fred could face further competition for his place next season after Ten Hag used his first news conference of the summer to insist that United’s midfield will need to be strengthened before the transfer deadline.
Along with Cristiano Ronaldo and David De Gea, Fred was one of the few players to escape last season with some credit — particularly after a number of positive performances under Ralf Rangnick — and the 29-year-old believes he can have an important role under Ten Hag.
“I don’t think last season was the first time people realized I was a good player,” he added.
“I didn’t come to Manchester United by chance, my first season wasn’t great although the others were good. We didn’t do very well last season but thankfully I managed to do a good job here.
“I hope to improve further this season, improving every day by working hard. A lot of people will criticize you, try to put you down.
“As I’ve said before I’m very relaxed. I don’t let it bother me and continue working hard on the pitch.
“I want to meet my objectives, playing well here and for my national team. I want to continue doing my job, regardless of what they say.”