Ten Hag: This is just the start
Erik ten Hag was naturally delighted with Manchester United's 2-1 win over Liverpool.
The Reds picked up our first points of the Premier League campaign with a splendid victory to move above the Merseysiders in the early table and end their unbeaten 21-game run in the division.
The boss made four changes to the XI on duty at Brentford last weekend and felt the players did everything he asked of them.
Speaking to MUTV, Sky Sports and at his post-match press conference, see what the manager had to say on his first competitive win since taking over the reins...
"I think so [they were strong, athletic and quick], eh? I think it was definitely a really good performance from the back four, with the goalie as well. A really good performance and the skills what I wanted to see on the pitch, I saw back. They were a unit. Maybe this line-up was the first time they were together. I am sure we have other defenders and we train in other constellations and they can bring the same."
WAS IT CLOSE TO WHAT YOU WANT?
"Definitely. We saw a team. We saw a spirit and also a real connection between the players and then you make it really difficult for a good team, even you can beat them and that is what we did. That is what we did. It gives a good feeling, also when we have spirit out of good organisation, but I still think there is a lot of room for improvements."
ONLY THE START
“I wanted a different approach, I wanted a different attitude, and that is what they bring on the pitch. That’s what makes me satisfied but it is only the start, we have to keep humble, but I think we can play a bit better if we have a little bit more composure, give an extra pass, we can be much more dangerous, because, as I said, we have good players with good ability, with good spirit and you will act. That is what we showed today, in moments, but also when you have to make the game, you have to be better on the ball.”
“It’s not always about what we’ve said [during the week]. I said to them we have to act. Not to talk a lot, just to act and make sure you are a team and battle and also be brave. Give each other options when we have the ball. So it’s not only about spirit. When we are out of possession, yes we want to press and sometimes you think strikers that they cannot do it because they have to save the energy for the offensive actions. I know this football is both and it is a demand. You have to bring it on the pitch out of possession and then you can be a threat in possession and that is what we show. It makes me happy that Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho make the goals.”
SPIRIT IS THE KEY
"We have a long way to go. When you are in a process, you have to deal with setbacks and also highlights. Today is a highlight but we just started. What we have to get is the way to above. There is a lot of room for improvement and that is what we have to work for but I hope the players now understand the basis always of a team. Fighting spirit."
BIG DECISIONS WITH THE XI
"We have a squad and then we have a way of playing, a style. But also a gameplan. You look what is the best approach to the game. That’s what we did today. We do that every game so today we picked those players but Saturday [at Southampton] can be different. We need a squad, because we have many games to cover. If we make a team out of the squad, we stick together and we can achieve a lot. I’m convinced about that."
"The demand is for everyone, but also for the manager. We have to deliver. You have obligations to the club, to the fans and it is a massive club with a huge fanbase. We have to deliver that. We have to act as a team and every individual has to give every day their best. That’s the demand for a manager and also for the team."