Bruno Fernandes warns Man Utd not to repeat previous mistakes v Everton amid calls for ‘hostile atmosphere’
Everton fan groups have said they want to make Sunday's atmosphere as 'hostile' as possible.
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It’s the Toffees’ first match since the Premier League decided to dock the club 10 points last week after an independent commission concluded they had flouted profitability and sustainability rules. It means Sean Dyche’s side have dropped from 14th to 19th in the table, and are now level on points with bottom-place Burnley.
Everton also feel they have been unfairly treated, with the Merseyside club saying via a statement that they are ‘shocked and disappointed by the ruling’. In response, fans have raised over £33,000 ahead of Sunday’s game, which supporters’ groups will put towards banners and flags.
Fan group The 1878s said they want to make the ‘atmosphere as hostile and electric as it can be’ for the clash with United, with the Goodison crowd playing a significant role in the club’s fight against relegation in each of the last two seasons.
For that reason, Fernandes has warned United to expect a particularly difficult game this weekend. “We have to focus game by game, now we have an away game against Everton and it’s really difficult to play there,” the United skipper told Four Four Two.
“They just lost 10 points, so we know that they need points, they are going to fight for their points, so we just have to find the focus to go to Everton and win the game, because we know that in the Premier League, these kinds of games are always tough.”
Yet, 'tough' games have proved problematic for the Red Devils this season, and the team have often wilted when facing any sort of on-field challenge. Successive 3-0 losses at Old Trafford to Manchester City and Newcastle United were perhaps the nadir of the season to date, but against Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion and away to Bayern Munich, Erik ten Hag's side have failed to offer any real resistance.
After Everton, United can expect another bellicose reception when they travel to Turkey for a must-win Champions League encounter against Galatasaray. “Obviously, that is a massive game," said Fernandes. "We know the position we are in the Champions League, what we need to do. So, it’s good to focus on game by game because we can’t think too much ahead.”