Ten Hag savours 'the first one' as Man Utd boss targets trophy-filled era
Erik ten Hag is convinced success can breed success at Manchester United after the Red Devils' trophy drought ended at Wembley.
Casemiro's header and an own goal from Sven Botman carried the Red Devils to a 2-0 win over Newcastle United in Sunday's EFL Cup final.
It gave the Mancunian giants a first major trophy since Jose Mourinho's side won the Europa League in 2017, and there could be more silverware to come in Ten Hag's debut season as manager.
They remain in the FA Cup and Europa League, and while a Premier League title push still seems unlikely, it is not entirely out of the question.
Ten Hag told Sky Sports: "First, you have to win the first one, and that is what we did today. I think you get a lot of inspiration from this, but also more confidence that we can do it.
"I think we are still in a start to restore Manchester United where it belongs and that is winning trophies and this is the first one."
He saluted the players that ended the club's barren run, saying: "They are really well connected with each other, they challenge each other as well. In the moment it's difficult, they help each other out. It's good to see, and I think it's the best a manager can get."
He suggested it would be the coaching team and staff celebrating long into the night, rather than the players, given United have an FA Cup game against West Ham on Wednesday.
While it was not a dazzling performance from the Dutchman's team, Ten Hag was more than content.
"We had again the right spirit, it's a very good spirit of the team. It was not always the best football, but I think it was effective," he said.
Pointing to the influence of senior figures, the former Ajax boss added: "I said before the game that Rapha Varane, Casemiro, David De Gea, they know how to win trophies.
"You need such lads on the pitch to point the team, to coach the team, to organise the team. Not only from a tactical perspective but also especially from a mental perspective, it's so important.
"The winning attitude, they have to bring it in the dressing room, they have to bring it in the team in difficult situations."