Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has refused to throw club captain Bruno Fernandes under the bus despite calls for him to lose the armband.
Fernandes was criticised for his behaviour and attitude in the humiliating 7-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
Former United captain Gary Neville took a swipe at the Portuguese international for gesturing to the bench when Marcus Rashford was subbed off for Anthony Elanga in the 85th minute, although the 28-year-old said his gesture was to get clarified on his positioning following Elanga's introduction.
Neville described the skipper's behaviour as "embarrassing" while former Blackburn striker Chris Sutton said United had "people far better qualified to be captain."
However, Ten Hag said in the Portugal midfielder's defense that he is an "inspiration to the team," insisting that he will remain captain when Harry Maguire is not playing.
"He is playing a brilliant season," said Ten Hag.
"He has played a big role in us being where we are.
"Everyone makes mistakes and we learn. I have to learn and he will as well.
"He is intelligent. I'm really pleased he is our player and he is captain when Harry (Maguire) is not playing."
The United boss however urged his players to "reset and bounce back" against Real Betis in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie at Old Trafford on Thursday.
"We made a mess on Sunday but we are in the same boat," he said.
"We win together and lose together."