Erik ten Hag was satisfied with Manchester United’s character in successfully defending a narrow 1-0 lead against West Ham United.
The only goal of a tight game came just before half-time when Marcus Rashford powered a Christian Eriksen cross past Lukasz Fabianski.
Speaking to the official broadcasters afterwards at Old Trafford, including MUTV, the BBC and Sky Sports, the boss had this to say about another vital three points and clean sheet for his team…
It’s a ‘double feeling’ for Ten Hag Video
IT’S A ‘DOUBLE FEELING’ FOR TEN HAG
“Yeah, it’s a double feeling I would say, because it’s great and I’m really happy with this win, and also the way we fight again and we are supporting each other and we are acting as a team. We had chances in the first half and didn’t concede that many counters – Lisandro Martinez had really good defending on the counter. Maybe the final decision-making was not that good all the time but we scored a great goal. Christian Eriksen’s cross and then the header by Marcus Rashford was brilliant. But I think we had to manage this game better. To keep the ball better and also, in the second half, to keep discipline in the pressing. Then you keep more control of the play. One again, the spirit in the team is so high and reward to keep the process going. It’s good to feel that fight we have together and we have to keep that going.”
KEEPING CLEAN SHEETS
“Yeah, but football is team sport. You do it together. That is of course in possession but definitely out of possession. It’s about defending your goal and you do it together, and I am happy I see also individual performances like David De Gea: magnificent today with the saves he makes in the end. We are quite good defending our box and have a brilliant goalkeeper. But you do it together, you start in front but then, finally, you have to protect the box and how we do it how we are supporting each other, how we are covering each other, how we motivate each other I’m really happy with that process.”
“It’s fantastic for Manchester United to have a great Academy and great history of the Academy, on the 85th anniversary of always having a youth player in the squad, and I think Marcus Rashford is representing that fact and can score a brilliant goal. It was really a milestone day for him before his birthday on Monday and a brilliant header. It’s difficult to say but I always do my best to push players to the maximum, to go into their personality and try to trigger [them]. And we have a good relationship. I see a Marcus Rashford who is really happy, smiling and enjoys the game and enjoys being at Carrington and being around the team. That is a good base to perform.”
“It was a good performance. It is not easy when you are a couple of weeks out and he only played 45 minutes on Thursday, but Premier League is a different level. Then to come in and to get under such pressure, especially at the end of the game, when it’s tough. And we didn’t have the opportunity to substitute because we didn’t have any more centre-halves on the bench. Then we survive. He was magnificent in protecting the box. He’s a great player, a really good defender and we have seen that and how important he is for the squad. I think he showed good attitude, I think he showed good resilience, I think he showed a bit of confidence and that’s good to see.”
RASHFORD REACHES HUGE UNITED LANDMARK
“It was a great atmosphere again and I think you see there is a bond between the team – the players and the fans. We have to keep going with that and keep building that and strengthen that. It’s hard work and investment as a team, have the right approach, attitude and co-operation. You can see it’s growing game to game and you can have success.”
GUARDIOLA SAYING ‘UNITED ARE COMING’
“I think it’s a little bit too quick. Second half, I have to be critical, I also said the players, we have to manage things better. But the spirit we have is fabulous, also we have the qualities to score goals and we have attacking football and the fact is we have to improve that, but if we keep going, I think we are in the right direction. But to be a threat for them, then we have a long way to go.”