Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, believes that the team’s recent success can lead to more success in the future.
The Red Devils ended their trophy drought with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United in Sunday’s EFL Cup final, with goals from Casemiro and an own goal from Sven Botman. It was the first major trophy for Manchester United since winning the Europa League in 2017 under Jose Mourinho.
Ten Hag, who is in his debut season as manager of Manchester United, remains optimistic about the club’s chances in the FA Cup and Europa League and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a Premier League title push.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said, “I think you get a lot of inspiration from this, but also more confidence that we can do it. I think we are still in a start to restore Manchester United where it belongs and that is winning trophies and this is the first one.”
Ten Hag commended the players for their efforts in ending the club’s barren run, stating, “They are really well connected with each other, they challenge each other as well. In the moment it’s difficult, but they help each other out. It’s good to see, and I think it’s the best a manager can get.”
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Despite it not being a dazzling performance from the Dutchman’s team, Ten Hag was satisfied with their effort.
“We had again the right spirit, it’s a very good spirit of the team. It was not always the best football, but I think it was effective,” he said.
Ten Hag also pointed to the influence of senior players such as Rapha Varane, Casemiro, and David De Gea, saying, “You need such lads on the pitch to point the team, to coach the team, to organise the team.
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“Not only from a tactical perspective but also especially from a mental perspective, it’s so important. The winning attitude, they have to bring it in the dressing room, they have to bring it in the team in difficult situations.”
Ten Hag believes that the recent win can serve as a stepping stone for future success.
“First, you have to win the first one, and that is what we did today. I think you get a lot of inspiration from this, but also more confidence that we can do it. The team is ready for everything. It is a great moment for us. Let’s enjoy [it] and be ready again. We showed today we can win trophies,” he said.
While Ten Hag acknowledged that there is still work to be done, he is optimistic about the future of Manchester United.
“I think we are still in a start to restore Manchester United where it belongs and that is winning trophies and this is the first one,” he said.