Erik ten Hag hails ‘brilliant’ Man Utd star after West Ham win but says United ‘could have done better’

The Manchester United manager praised Marcus Rashford and Casemiro after the match.

Erik ten Hag said Manchester United ‘could have better’ in the second half of Sunday’s win over West Ham United on Sunday.

The Red Devils won 1-0 against David Moyes’ side but had to weather a late storm from the visitors, who produced several late shots at Old Trafford. It was Marcus Rashford who grabbed the only goal of the game with his first-half header, and netting his 100th goal for the club in the process.

Speaking after the game, Ten Hag said he was delighted with the level of performance from his N0.10 but felt the team should have coped better with West Ham’s late onslaught.

“I think first-half possession we could have done better with more opportunities and initiative from the back,” the Dutchman said on Sky Sports. “We had moments but could have done better.

“We make a great goal, magnificent. The pass from [Christian] Eriksen and the header was a hammer from Marcus Rashford. Tomorrow is his 25th birthday, a great present I would say,” Ten Hag added.

Rashford’s header gave United all three points on Sunday. Credit: Getty.

“I think we have to manage it [the game] better, that’s clear. Especially the second half possession was poor, there were so many spaces left for us. Manage the game, keep the ball, let them run and then find the space and then go to goal. You call it a tennis match from one side to the other. And we have a great keeper.”

Asked about Casemiro’s display in the centre, Ten Hag responded: “For me, he is brilliant. You can see why he wins five Champions League trophies and acting that long at the top of world football. We see that in every match and every training. He will only get better and better.”

United’s ‘cement between the stones’. Credit: Getty.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Ten Hag again praised the former Real Madrid man, claiming he gives United the ‘opportunity to dominate a game’. “I call him the cement between the stones,” the United boss said.

“I think in and out of possession he makes such a difference to the team, he gives the team the opportunity to dominate a game in and out possession. He can read the game and makes the right decision; he is pointing players in the right direction.

“He is anticipating and also he sees the pass between the lines. He is a top player and I am really happy to have him here.”