Erik ten Hag is happy with the progress Manchester United are making but still wants greater ruthlessness after only beating Leicester City 1-0.
United made it three Premier League wins in a row on Thursday with their slender victory at the King Power Stadium, a streak they had not managed since December.
Jadon Sancho got the only goal of the game in a first half that United generally controlled, but they were unable to increase their lead and that offered Leicester encouragement.
Still, Leicester struggled to take advantage of their own second-half improvement, with United’s defence impressing once again with a solid collective effort as the hosts’ chances only amounted to 0.6 expected goals.
United might have finished Leicester off towards the end during Cristiano Ronaldo’s lively cameo, and although their wasteful finishing mattered little in the end, Ten Hag was not completely satisfied.
“It is another step forward, so we are happy with that,” he told BT Sport.
“Again, good team spirit. We had 11 players the on pitch who fought for each other. Compact, good press, and scored a lovely team goal.
“There is room for improvements, still, but that is normal at this part of the season.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 1, 2022
He added: “We can be dangerous in transition moments, we know that, especially the second half. And also in first half, there were many spaces that we did not exploit that well. With better decisions we should have scored a second goal.
“We have to be more [ruthless], but, as I said there is room for improvement, and we will work on that.”
Sancho’s winner was his second Premier League goal of the season, meaning the England international is already only one behind his total for last term.
Ten Hag acknowledged the winger’s improved condition but was keen to focus on the collective and the team’s unity.
“He had a really good pre-season, he invested a lot in pre-season and now in the season you see he can make the difference.
“He’s a great player but also the whole team, because I think it’s a good team goal.
“I’m happy with the clean sheet, and you see when we have 11 on the pitch who defend together and attack together, and when you add that in the energy, you see what we can achieve.”
United are in action again on Sunday when their improved standing will be put to the test at home to an Arsenal side that have won all five of their games this season.
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