"We found mentality, character to win this": Ten Hag on United's 2-1 win over Villa in Premier League

Feb 12, 2024

New Delhi [India], February 12 : With Manchester United winning 2-1 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League (PL) at Villa Park on Sunday, the Red Devils head coach Erik ten Hag said it was a "massive" victory for them.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, Ten Hag said that their main target was to clinch crucial three points from the game against Aston Villa.
"It was massive. It's a massive win for us. So, we get closer. And that was the aim for today and was absolutely our target. And we did it. And I think also the way we did it, I think I liked it, and of course, I liked especially the first 20 minutes. And when we are dictating the game, after I think we are dropping a little bit too much. We had our moments in the counterattacks, but yeah, I think then at 1-1, to fight back, we are really happy for today," Ten Hag said, according to Manchester United website.
He noted that match against Aston Villa was a "high intensity" game and the players were "fatigued" by the end.
"In that moment, you always have to see how a game progresses. And I think it was really high intensity and you could see how many players were so, so fatigued by the end. It was so open and it could go two ways. But then finally, I think we found the mentality, the character to win this game. And I think also the subs, they have had an impact," he added.
Ten Hag further praised the Scottish midfielder Scott McTominay for scoring goals.
"[It meant] Bruno could become more of a midfielder then in the offensive. I understand the players see the spaces and go for goal in such moments because they are offensive, they want to score goals. But I think it was better in certain situations to keep the ball and let the opponent run, drag them out and then it will open up. And so that was more the idea to bring an extra midfielder there. But with Scott, you have a player who can score a goal," he added.
Rasmus Hojlund and McTominay's goals helped the United clinch 2-1 win over the Birmingham-based club on Sunday.
United are in sixth place in the PL standings with 41 points having won 13 of 24 matches. In their upcoming PL clash, the Red Devils will face off against Luton Town on February 18.