Erik ten Hag was full of praise for the resilience of his Manchester United side and could not hide his delight at Alejandro Garnacho’s matchwinning heroics in the late win at Fulham on Sunday.
United had been pegged back at Craven Cottage after Red Devils old by Dan James cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s first-half opener for the visitors, but it was substitute Garnacho who provided late drama to sweep home in the third minute of added time.
The victory moved United to within three points of fourth-placed Tottenham in the race for the Champions League spots.
Speaking to BBC Sport after the game, Ten Hag said: “I think in the first half we played quite well and I think we had to score more goals. The difference between us and Fulham had to be bigger after the first half.
“We were only 1-0 up and then a great chance after half-time. And then you see that two halves are never the same and the game changes. Fulham get better and better and more dominant, create chances and get the equaliser.
“The last 10 minutes were then ours. I’m really happy with the resilience we have. Also the composure you can bring in the game then.
“The winning has to do with the belief that you can always score. I’m really happy that a sub came in once again – it’s not only 11 players, you need a squad to win trophies and that is what we want.”
As for Garnacho’s heroics, which also left Gary Neville purring, Ten Hag added: “That is fantastic. First he shows the mentality you need. Under stress he’s performing, he’s coming in, he has an impact, he has the belief.
“Twice in three, four days, so that is really good. I’m really happy that we can bring a young player up and it shows that when players deserve it they get their chances. That is the first one but we have to bring more.
“He’s great. I like that he has a big belief and that’s great to work with. He likes football. He’s a real pleasure.”
Fernandes puts positive spin on Garnacho impact
United skipper Bruno Fernandes, who has previously been critical of Garnacho’s attitude, told Sky Sports: “He has a lot of talent and his workrate together with the talent makes a big difference with us from the bench.
“It’s not the first time he makes a big impact for us. We are really happy for him and know he can give us goals, assists and prove the joy of football.
“I think everyone is seeing signs that [he can go all the way]. Not because of his goals and assists but the way he comes into the game.
“Nobody likes to be on the bench so the attitude he has when he comes off has been fantastic. He deserves the chances he’s been having and he’s got his rewards. That’s what football’s about.”
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