Erik ten Hag was high in praise of club captain Harry Maguire and goalkeeper David de Gea after Manchester United’s 1-0 win against West Ham.
United held on to defeat the Hammers after a first-half header from Marcus Rashford, who scored his 100th goal for the club in the process.
West Ham put the Red Devils under severe pressure in the final 20 minutes of the match.
De Gea pulled off a number of great saves and Maguire was key in keeping a clean sheet, blocking a close-range effort from England teammate Jarrod Bowen late on.
On Maguire’s performance, Ten Hag said: “He was magnificent in protecting the box. He is a great player and a really good defender and we have seen how important he is for the squad.
“I am really happy for the team of course but also Harry Maguire as he came off the pitch with a clean sheet.”
On the match as a whole, Ten Hag told Match of the Day: “In this team it is a big attitude and winning spirit. You see that, the start of the season not that good but improving a lot. We have to keep that process going.
“The fans also like it. You see developing a bond between the fans and the team, that is good.
“If we don’t manage it with the 10 outfield players on the pitch you can really see defending with 11 because we have a great goalkeeper.
“With great saves and composure you can rely on him.”
He added: “We have a long way to go, there is a lot of room for improvement. We need to keep the process going and also learn from the wins.
“The second half we could have done it better. We have to also be critical to ourselves. I am happy, don’t get me wrong, with the spirit and the defending, but when you keep the ball better you have more control of the game.”
On goalscorer Rashford, Ten Hag said: “It is a great performance. It is fantastic and fantastic for Manchester United. They have a great academy and a great history with the academy.
“The player on the 85th anniversary of always having a youth player in the squad or on the pitch and Marcus Rashford I think he is representing that fact and scores a brilliant goal with a great pass from Eriksen.
“It was a great header, the day before his birthday, for his 100th goal is a real milestone.”
De Gea said it was a “great win” and admits he was “happy” with his saves to help his side pick up all three points.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s a great win for us. If we want to achieve and be in the top places we have to win games like this today.
“Of the two saves, probably the header from Zouma was the best because it was almost certainly going in but I am happy for all of them. Happy to make the saves and it’s a massive win.
“We are pressing well and recovering the ball well high up the pitch. We conceded some chances at the end but West Ham are a great team. I’m really happy to be honest.
“We had a difficult start to the season, Man United is a massive club and we are getting better. We can keep more clean sheets, play well and keep going until the end.
“I don’t like to think too far into the future, we will just take it day by day. Big game on Thursday and we want to finish top of the group. We will go for another game, more energy and keep going again.”
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