It’s 2,104 days since United’s last trophy, and 197 since they were 4-0 down to Brentford at half-time. Erik ten Hag has done a phenomenal job in so many way – coaching, tactics, man-management, game management, discipline, PR, Ronaldo – and he watches on with pride as Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes lift the Carabao Cup to the heavens!
The players lift the trophy, one by one, to huge cheers – but the loudest of all is reserved for the manager. We shouldn’t get carried away, as they still have work to do, but Manchester United are a serious football team once again. It’s been a long time coming.
We showed the right spirit – we fought and gave everything, as a team. It wasn’t always the best football but it was effective. You have to win the first [trophy], and that is what we did today. You can take inspiration from this, but also more confidence. We are still at the start [of the process] to restore Man United to where they belong.
[On the team spirit] They are really good collectively. Also, they challenge each other, which needs to happen. It’s a good dressing-room. When it’s difficult they help each other out. It’s great to see, and I think it’s the best a manager can get.
[Are you surprised the players have done so well so early in your reign?] I don’t know, I just want to win. We invested from the start of the season, with the staff – I want to say that they have done an incredible job – and the staff and players are together. There is a hunger and desire for trophies.
[Champagne tonight?] Champagne for the manager and the staff. We’ll rest the players, they have a big game on Wednesday!
[On his dancing] We have a history of this [with Antony and Martinez], I hope we can do it more often!
[On Casemiro] I said before the game: Rapha Varane, Casemiro, David de Gea, they know how to win trophies. You need lads like that on the pitch, to coach the team and organise them, and especially for their mentality. The winning attitude is so important.
Newcastle manager Eddie Howe on BBC Radio 5 Live: “We played really well between both boxes today, we gave everything but we just didn’t get those breaks at both ends.
“We should have defended the free-kick better and then the second goal is a killer.
“We did everything to get back in the game. We had chances but couldn’t take them and that’s why we lost.
“No complaints with how we played, obviously the scoreline doesn’t say that, and that’s where football can be cruel.
“Individually and collectively I thought we played well but it just didn’t happen in the box and we need to work on that.
“I can’t take positives from losing but I can from the performance. They’ve been committed and give everything for the club.
“I’m sorry we couldn’t deliver for the fans today.
“The competition we are in now is at a very high level and we need to bridge that gap. Games are decided by small margins so we need to improve and hopefully we can enjoy more days like this.”
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