Ten Hag: I am really proud of the team

Thursday 10 November 2022 23:39

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has praised his side's endeavour, as we twice had to come from behind to see off Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford.

The Reds fell behind shortly after the second-half restart, with Ollie Watkins opening the scoring for the hosts. Anthony Martial equalised just 19 seconds later, before Diogo Dalot turned through his own net to restore the visitors' advantage. 

Marcus Rashford levelled things once more as the game teetered on a knife-edge, before strikes from both Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay ensured it was United who progressed to round four of the Carabao Cup.

With the draw for the next round being made pitchside from Old Trafford, United now know we will face Championship side Burnley in the next round of the competition.

Following the victory, Erik spoke to Sky Sports and club media, delivering his verdict on events, while also further outlining how his side will spend the upcoming break...

Ten Hag: It was a real cup game! Video

Ten Hag: It was a real cup game!

Erik ten Hag explains what he told the Reds at half-time, during his post-match chat with Stewart Gardner...


"Two halves are never the same, eh? But it is true, I will say, in the first half, we controlled the game, by good pressing and we won a lot of balls in the opponents' half, but we just did the wrong things. We were really bad in transition, missing the pass and the runs in behind. We would pass the ball one step too late. So we missed a lot of opportunities in the first half and in the last part, in the last seven-eight minutes we were really sloppy on the ball and from the corners against us. At half-time, we said keep the pressing, but be more direct with the balls in behind their defence. Then we came back, kept the ball and fought back. I am really proud of the team after Sunday's defeat and after two times we were behind. I am happy tonight.''


''They [our attacking players] have the capabilities to do that, but also Bruno [Fernandes], [Alejandro] Garnacho, and on the outside of the second phase with Scott [McTominay] with his runs, they have the capabilities to get in behind and they did well. We could see they played a high line and we said to play the ball in behind. I think we were quite successful with that in the second half. It was a real cup game. I enjoyed it, my players enjoyed it. Of course, we are happy we are in the next round."


''That was the purpose. We give away the ball and that was the problem in the first half. I said at half-time, the problem in the first half was we had too many touches and we missed the moment to pass the ball behind. That soon helped with [Christian] Eriksen on the pitch.''


''I am really happy with that resilience, and that is what we needed. We have to show it every game and that is why I was so disappointed, I was really mad after Sunday because, in that performance, we didn't fight and we didn't co-operate, we were sloppy, especially in the defensive discipline, that cannot be how United play and we always have to show 100 per cent discipline with the defending work.''


"I think we made good steps in the last months with our mentality and this is further evidence of it but we are not there, where we want to be. Sunday was really poor. It can't happen. We have to blame ourselves for the performance. But what we see after such a performance on Sunday, to fight back today, even when twice down, is good and a real compliment for tonight."

Report: United 4 Villa 2


The Reds book our place in round four of the Carabao Cup, with an entertaining victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.


"Definitely [good to have Martial back]. We have some offensive problems with availability and we need more players available so we can rotate and not always play the same players. We have to freshen now and again. You see tonight when we bring Garnacho on, we can bring Anthony Elanga in, with new energies coming up. We need that if we want to be successful, especially in the front line, we need rotation."


''It is a quick game, it is an intense game. What we have to do better is we have to play football at a higher intensity because that is what the top teams do. I think we have made a step in the right direction, but also on the ball, like in the first half, we have to be better in control. In moments, we have to have more composure on the ball to track an opponent up, then we can speed the ball up. I think we are heading in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go.''


''I think that is what we continue to do. Analyse, reflect on our performance, but, of course, we have a little bit more time, which allows us to get a little bit deeper into stuff. That is what we will do and we will look at where we can improve. We will have a good reflection on where we can improve [But, first, Fulham] and every game is to win is really important but it's clear, yeah. Part one [tonight] was revenge for Sunday but part two has to come."