Harry Maguire is the club captain of Man Utd but Bruno Fernandes has worn the armband on the pitch more often this season.
Erik ten Hag insists Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes can continue to share captaincy duties at Manchester United, with the centre-back set to take over the armband at Nottingham Forest today.
With Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez both injured, Maguire will make his 14th start of the season at the City Ground and his return to the starting XI will spell the end with the England international still captaining United.
It is only the sixth time Maguire has captained a Premier League game this season, while Bruno Fernandes has skippered the other 22.
Fernandes has worn the armband when Maguire has been out this season but Ten Hag insists what is essentially a division of labor is not an issue and both sides know what their role is, respect between the duo is crucial for the situation to work.
“They went through it together, one brings the band, we accept it as it is, they respect each other and they do it together. I think it’s working out so far,” he said.
Ten Hag has regularly reiterated his wish for United to have more leaders this season, citing David de Gea, Varane and Casemiro as players who will take him to the side.
The Dutchman also believes that Martinez, who followed him from Ajax to Old Trafford in the summer, has also developed his leadership skills this season.
“A team needs multiple leaders, you need a group of leaders,” Ten Hag said.
“It’s two [Maguire and Fernandes] but we have more, Rapha Varane, Casemiro, David de Gea, Licha Martinez has also developed very well in that regard. We have more.”
United start with injuries at a crucial time in their season. Varane and Martinez will be on the sidelines this week alongside Tom Heaton, Donny van de Beek, Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho, while Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay will face late fitness tests.
But Ten Hag is urging the rest of his squad to step in in the absence of key players, with today’s trip to the East Midlands followed by the second leg of the Europa League quarter-final in Sevilla and the semi- next weekend’s FA Cup final against Brighton at Wembley.
“All clubs have to deal with the fact that important players are missing, but then other players come in,” said the United manager.
“Obviously you always want to do your best, especially when you’re in the final stages (of the season), but when they’re not available the others have to do it and I think we’ve proven that when they’re not. are not there.
“Last week we discussed who should score the goals and Marcel Sabitzer scored two (against Sevilla). We talk a lot about Casemiro. We proved that we can play against Brentford and Everton without him. We can without him. play and win hard and.” important games.
“We have to settle it and we will. It’s also true that if players retire, others have to step in and take responsibility.”