Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Manchester United midfielder Fred for his attitude at the end of last season.
The Brazilian midfielder started in the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal, despite picking up a knock that ruled him out of the clash with Wolves the weekend before.
Fred played a total of 48 games in all competitions for United last season and became an important player in the pivot for Solskjaer.
And the Norwegian has commended his player’s efforts, having seen Fred struggle to bed in under Jose Mourinho and then underwhelming in Solskjaer’s first season.
“I have to put particular praise to Fred,” he told the club’s official website. “I’ve got to say, at the end of the season, he got an injury in the last league game.
“We thought he wouldn’t make it for the [Europa League] final as he didn’t train the whole week before our own final, and he’s just put his head down and worked really hard.
“He trained the day before the final and came on and played. He’s just played throughout the summer and that’s some going.
“Some players with that injury wouldn’t be in training football now. He’s been a credit to Manchester United and himself in the way he’s conducted himself.”
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Fred opened up on his difficult first season and being described as a ‘flop’ recently, admitting that the criticism was tough to take.
But he says that he turned it into motivation to turn him into the player he is today that is regularly competing for a starting place.
“The first season was very difficult, I think many players suffer from it,” Fred told Globo Esporte.
“I suffered a lot with my first season, even for the amount they paid. You come with a high expectation, it turns out that if you don’t play all the games well, you will be criticised.
“I suffered a lot of criticism from the press and the fans, but I always kept motivating myself, working. I never dropped the shuttlecock.
“I was even treated as a ‘flop’, a contract that doesn’t pay. But I kept working my best.
“In the second season I started without playing, I stayed a few games away and then I managed to get the starting place.
“And then I came in a good sequence, I managed to win over the fans, the coach, the press, who speaks well. It is the result of hard work, it is not overnight.
“If people criticise, you have to keep working. Sometimes it is good to hear criticism because you are more attentive.
“I heard some people on my side saying that I have to improve. Today I came back, I’m very happy and I want to stay for many years.”