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Ten Hag hails ‘massive’ win after Manchester United close gap on Villa

Erik ten Hag says Manchester United still need to improve despite a ‘massive win’ over Aston Villa.

Manchester United closed the gap to Aston Villa to five points after McTominay’s late header secured a vital win at Villa Park. Man United now is in sixth place in the table after winning their last three matches.

Ten Hag told Sky Sports: “It is a massive win for us. We’ve got closer and that was the aim for today. That was absolutely our target and we’ve done it. The way we did it, I liked it.

I especially liked the first 20 minutes when we controlled the game. At 1-1, we had to fight back and we are really happy for today. At 1-1, you always have to see how the game progresses. I think it was really high intensity and you could see how many players were fatigued by the end.

It was so open and it could go two ways, but we found the mentality and character to win the game. The substitutes also had an impact.

Scott [McTominay] is great. He can score many goals. He’s always coming into positions to score goals. We had problems, it was too much like a tennis match, we had problems in the counter-attack. We knew Scott would get into the box and he can score goals.

The players were going for goals because they are offensive, but it was better in certain situations to keep the ball, drag players out, and that was the idea to bring an extra midfielder into there.

Erik ten Hag celebrated his first Premier League away win in charge against a side in the top nine. This was also the first time this season that Man United has managed to win four straight matches in all competitions.

Ten Hag added: “I never think about negative situations. I’m thinking positively. We have to catch up but we are not there yet. We are in a good mood and we have to keep this process going, but there is so much space for improvement. There are many games left to play and we will see what happens.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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