Ten Hag compliments his team

Thursday 13 October 2022 23:25

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag believes he owes his team compliments after a resilient win against Omonia Nicosia at Old Trafford.

United were forced to wait until our 34th shot of the night to break the deadlock against the Cypriot outfit, just when it seemed the visitors would grind out a goalless draw. 

Second-half substitute, Scott McTominay, scored a 93rd-minute winner to earn three points for the Reds and maintain pressure on Group E leaders Real Sociedad. After the game, he spoke with BT Sport, MUTV and at a press conference.

"They [kept the faith] and that's why they scored," Ten Hag said. 

Ten Hag's verdict on United v Omonia Video

Ten Hag's verdict on United v Omonia

Watch our post-match interview with the manager for his take on the action at Old Trafford...

"I have to compliment the team. We kept patient, kept getting in the right positions, kept creating chances and we didn't allow the opponent to come out, so I think they did well. The performance was well done." 

But the boss believes we should have buried our chances, in spite of Omonia's compact shape at the back. 

"One thing about football, you have to score," he added. "I think this game had to be three or four-nil.

"The only thing that we were lacking was scoring goals. We scored so many chances and that is not easy against an opponent who I would say they are really compact, like a handball defence. There was a lot of movement, a lot of creativity. So many chances, but we didn’t score."

Visiting keeper Francis Uzoho produced an astonishing performance to keep the Reds at bay, until the very end.

"I said well done [to him]," said Ten Hag. "He made many, many saves and so many clear goals that did not go in and he kept them in the game. The performance in the box was good, but the finishing was not that good and let's hope we can save the goals for the coming week!"

Another three points on the board keep United's hopes of finishing top of the group very much alive. But for Ten Hag, it is all about taking each game as it comes. 

"I don't know, we have to wait," he responded, when asked about the importance of McTominay's late winner. 

"We still have two games to go, so [we have to] go from game to game." 

Ten Hag's post-match press conference Video

Ten Hag's post-match press conference

See how the boss answered questions from journalists during his post-match press conference...

In a bid to break the deadlock, the forwards switched positions in the closing stages of the tie.

"I wanted to put Marcus [Rashford] closer with Ronny [Cristiano Ronaldo], to give him more and more support, and also get a different variation on the right wing," revealed the Dutchman. "They have to adapt to a more midfield player, like Bruno [Fernandes] is, than the typical winger. For 60 minutes, Antony endured and with Bruno, we get different variation. We had to try and bring an impact."

With this match settled, the Reds will turn our attentions to Sunday's game against Newcastle United. 

"[It is] a big game and we have to prepare for it well, and we have to get the energy for it."