Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is glad to see Bruno Fernandes demanding more from his Manchester United team-mates and hopes other players in the squad will learn from the star midfielder.
Fernandes has made a huge impact at Old Trafford since arriving from Portuguese giants Sporting CP in January, playing a direct part in 34 goals in 35 games for United.
No player has scored the winning goal in more different Premier League games than Fernandes this season, the 26-year-old netting the winner in all four of United’s victories.
Fernandes is not afraid to bark out instructions on the pitch, either, and has even been trusted with the captain’s armband at times in the absence of regular skipper Harry Maguire.
And Solskjaer is more than happy for former Sporting captain Fernandes to keep berating those around him if they fail to match the high standards he has set in his 10 months at United.
“In the heat of the moment people are allowed to air their frustration and be angry for a second or two, but then it’s over and done with, because it’s just for the benefit of the team,” Solskjaer said.
“If it lingers on that’s a different scenario. I’ve been in a team and I like a team that has that inner justice where it’s not just the managers and the coaches that shout.
“I want players to take responsibility and put other players into their places at times when it’s necessary. They’re out there fighting for one cause and that’s for the team to win.
“The players have reacted really well [to Fernandes], we see different kinds of leadership, some lead by example, some lead by both, once in a while you just have to take a rollicking when you deserve one.
“He’s not just giving out rollockings; he’s also instructing players. We can all learn from his mentality and mindset, that winning mentality. If it’s 2-0 he wants 3-0, if it’s 4-0 he wants 5-0, he always wants the team to improve.”
Fernandes scored a brace against Istanbul Basaksehir in midweek to keep United well on course for a place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
Solskjaer’s United have struggled for any sort of consistency in the Premier League, however, and find themselves down in 13th position – eight points off the pace – ahead of Sunday’s trip to Southampton.
But they travel to Southampton seeking an eighth away league win in succession for the first time ever in the top flight and Solskjaer can see signs of progress.
“The main thing for me is to keep improving, and climbing the table would be a sign of that,” he said. “I do feel that we are getting to the right mindset after a difficult start to the season.
“Generally speaking, teams that are capable of winning the league are the ones that can put good runs together.
“I don’t know if that will hold true this season because it might be a little more unpredictable than most, but we are starting to show a bit more consistency. I like the way we approach games.”