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Bruno Fernandes has "given everybody a huge lift" at Manchester United, says John O'Shea, with the Red Devils firing again despite suffering untimely injuries to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were 11 games unbeaten across all competitions prior to football shutting down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The January arrival of Fernandes from Sporting is considered to have lifted United to new heights, with the Portugal international midfielder slotting seamlessly into the fold.
Plaudits have rained down on the 25-year-old, with O'Shea among those to have talked up the impact of a new boy during what could have been another testing period for those at Old Trafford.
The former United defender told the club's official website of progress under Solskjaer: "He's had that initial burst when the run was incredible and he went through a few injuries to key players, but Bruno Fernandes coming in seems to have given everybody a huge lift.
"That has coincided with the team going on a fantastic run, looking very threatening again and that is without Marcus Rashford, who has proven to be a big player.
"Unfortunately the unforeseen circumstances have hindered everyone a little bit, especially Ole, but it's a chance for some of the boys who are missing to get back in and be available. That will be a boost for everyone and hopefully, we can push on for that top-four spot."
Questions were being asked of Solskjaer before United hit a purple patch, with the Norwegian yet to convince everyone of his ability to fill one of the most demanding coaching posts in world football.
O'Shea claims he never had any doubts over Solskjaer's ability to deliver back at Old Trafford, with his leadership credentials having been showcased during a productive spell in Manchester as a player.
Quizzed on whether he expected the 1999 Treble winner to become a top boss, O'Shea said: "It didn't surprise me. He was always very analytical. He was always analysing everything and that is why he was quite successful coming off the bench, because he was that type of lad.
"The couple of injuries really made his mind up that he wanted to go in that direction, too, so it didn't surprise me that he went into coaching or management.
"The type of personality that he is lends itself more to the current generation, that he can be that bit more relaxed but also very serious and a fierce competitor like he was as a player. He has that side to him as well, when it is needed."