Fred believes that Manchester United being led by an interim manager in Ralf Rangnick is causing uncertainty that is "a little bit bad" for the team.
Although Rangnick has lost only one league game since his arrival, Fred claimed United are unstable as a result of the temporary nature of his role. “It’s a bit strange,” the midfielder told TNT Sports Brazil. “I know in football it’s important to get good results as soon as possible, but it’s also important to have a long-term plan. I think it’s a little bit bad for us not to have one. At the moment it’s all about the short-term goals. We don’t know how it’s going to be after the end of this season.”
Although Rangnick has an outside chance of being appointed as the permanent manager, Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag are the frontrunners.
Rangnick takes United to Atlético Madrid on Wednesday for their Champions League last-16 first leg. Fred expects a feisty tie against Diego Simeone's side, who are 15 points off Real Madrid at the summit of La Liga.
“Even when not playing well, they’re a hard team to beat,” the Brazilian said. “Their manager is Argentinian, so they’re warriors, defend really well, they like a bit of a fight on the pitch and play collectively as a unit.
“So it really doesn’t matter if Atlético is going through a bad moment. It’s a match for players that have balls – pardon my French. They’re the most South American team in the Champions League.”
Fred stated he was aware of the criticism his displays can draw from United supporters. “It’s a mixed bag: some fans like me and others don’t. It’s all about the results and they will dictate the supporters’ mood. But sometimes even with good results you’ll be criticised as well.
“I’m not the best player, the most technical, but I give my blood and life every time I’m on the pitch. As we say in Brazil, I carry the piano for the artists to play. It’s been nice to play lately more as a box-to-box midfielder. It’s my favourite position – I’ve been creating chances and even scoring. It’s similar to the position I play internationally for Brazil.”
The 28-year-old embraces how his midfield partnership with Scott McTominay has been nicknamed “McFred”.
“I like it,” he said. “I’m very happy to play alongside him, but also it’s important to value every member of our midfield.”
Bruno Fernandes believes United have more identity under Rangnick than under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who was sacked in November. "We have to follow what the manager thinks is the best way for us," Fernandes said.
“In this club I never heard someone complain about the tactics. I hope no one will do that – it is not respectful to the manager. We have been doing so well since he arrived. We have more identity as a team, I think.”