Ten Hag: This team can handle setbacks

Erik Ten Hag was speaking after the game, and heaped praise on certain individuals as well as the collective team effort to come back from 2 goals down to win at Old Trafford.
Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League / Nathan Stirk/GettyImages

Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag was keen on praising his team after their 3-2 win against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

The under pressure manager found himself in a rut, walking to the dressing room for halftime to a chorus of boos at Old Trafford, as his team were pinned down by two first half goals from McGinn and Dendoncker.

However, two goals from Alejandro Garnacho and a winning goal from Rasmus Højlund was enough to seal the victory for United.

Speaking after the game, Ten Hag had this to say on the team performance:

"“I'm really pleased with the performance from my team. What can the team handle and deal with - so many setbacks in the first half of the season. They were resilient and showed character and personality, to turn it around, and I'm very pleased with this performance from my team. They got the reward for their hard work and it's actually unbelievable, so many setbacks that a normal team can't handle it. This team can.”"

Ten Hag on team resilience

A inspiring half time team talk can be credited for the win, given how energetic and tenacious the Red Devils looked in the second half - something that was not apparent in the first 45 minutes at all.

"“I didn’t say Merry Christmas! I said keep believing. I said I want to see the team, from the first whistle to the final whistle, with spirit and belief to win that game. No matter what happens. At half-time, I repeated that message and it was also justified as we created four or five really good chances but didn't take them. Straight after half-time, another disappointment and it tells the story of the season so far. We've had so many setbacks but I see the character of this team.""

Ten Hag on half-time team talk

Rasmus Højlund managed to grab the winning goal in the game with a fantastic finish past Emi Martinez for his long awaited first Premier League goal in United colours. The Dutchman was full of praise for the Danish striker:

"“We know he's capable as he's proved it in the Champions League. He will also score goals in the Premier League so I'm very happy. I know it will give him confidence from that point on. He will score more goals. You know you have the potential and you know he's demonstrated his ability on the highest level and there will come a point where he will also score in the Premier League. Today, it's there and I'm sure, when one is in, more will come.”"

Ten Hag on Højlund

The manager was full of praise for his attacking line, and not only just for Man of the Match Alejandro Garnacho, who scored a brace.

"“They [Garnacho and Hojlund] will be in the spotlight and they deserve it. Also Rashford had a very good game and was a threat. The front three were well served by Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen, with smart passing. I'm very pleased with the performance from everyone. Garnacho played a very good game as well. He played fantastic and he was so disappointed, after West Ham, that he didn't score when in one-on-ones. Now, twice, he got rewarded for all the work he put into this game.""

Ten Hag on attackers