A delighted Erik ten Hag praised Manchester United’s attitude in the rousing 2-1 win over Liverpool and predicted there is better to come from his team.
United were unrecognisable from the rabble who were defeated 4-0 at Brentford and had taken no points from their opening two matches.
Following the latest pre-game protests against the Glazers ownership, Old Trafford witnessed goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford that were answered only by Mohamed Salah’s late consolation.
Ten Hag said: “We can talk about technical but it’s all about attitude. Now you see we bring the attitude. There was communication, there was a fighting spirit and especially there was a team, and you can see what they can achieve. Because they can fucking play good football.”
Speaking to Sky on its live broadcast, Ten Hag apologised for swearing but admitted he was pleased with the response from his players.
“Sorry I wanted a different approach to the Brentford game,” said the Dutchman. “This is why I am satisfied. We can play much better if we have more composure to make an extra pass. We have good players, but now we can be a team.”
Ten Hag dropped Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire from his starting lineup but said both could still play a role.
New signing Casemiro was paraded before kick-off after the midfielder’s transfer from Real Madrid wasconfirmed and Ten Hag indicated United will still try and strengthen more before the 1 September deadline.
“Casemiro, Varane and Ronaldo have won trophies and will guide the younger players, I hope their presence will be a huge stimulation to the rest. We want to bring the right players in, not any players, but the window is not closed. We need numbers and quality,” he said.
Jürgen Klopp’s team are yet to win this season but Liverpool’s manager denied any underlying concern. “We have no issue,” he said. “We are in a tricky situation, injury wise, we got through the week with 14, 15 senior players available and now have to make sure they don’t get injured. We should have won this game, I know it sounds ridiculous but that is how I saw it.”