Bruno Fernandes says his stellar form since he arrived at Manchester United in January is not the only reason why the club’s fortunes have improved on the pitch.
After an inconsistent first half of the season, United are unbeaten in the nine games Fernandes has featured in since his £47 million ($58 million) move from Sporting Lisbon.
In the Premier League, United are unbeaten in five games and up to fifth place, firmly in the battle for Champions League places.
The midfielder has scored three goals and made four assists.
“I see the same team from one month ago,” the Portugal international told Sky Sports. “I think we are the same and have a lot of hunger to win, to give a lot, to do better and better in every game.
“In the last month, we’ve had a lot of really good games and I think we can talk about a new start after Bruno, but it’s not about Bruno, it’s about the team.”
The 25-year-old said he was a different player from his team-mates.
“Everyone has a different mould to play,” he said. “Maybe I take more risks, maybe other players don’t take as many, maybe I shoot more, some players pass more, some of the players make more tackles, everyone is different in a club.”
Fernandes shone in last week’s derby victory over Manchester City at Old Trafford and got involved in a spat with opposition manager Pep Guardiola late in the game.
The pair exchanged words and Fernandes then put a finger to his lips, gesturing for Spaniard Guardiola to be quiet.
Asked about the incident, Fernandes said: “I talked about this with some friends. Some people think, ‘Pep won everything, who is Bruno to do this to him?’
“I think it’s about respect. Now, when I’m outside of the pitch and calm, I don’t do this again if I’m on the pitch now but in that moment, the words he tells make me mad and I’m a little bit nervous and this is the kind of player I am.”
Fernandes said he jumped at the chance to join Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
“I talked with Sporting, who had already had some discussions with Man United about my transfer and when they talk with me, I told them my first choice was Man United and it’s what I need for my career,” he said.
The Premier League season was suspended on Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic.