“I just love United.”
Those were the emotive words of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag after delivering his first piece of silverware since taking charge of the Club last summer.
The Dutchman oversaw a commanding victory as first-half goals from Casemiro and Marcus Rashford were enough to defeat Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.
And the 53-year-old views this moment as the start of something special.
He said: “Winning trophies shows that you’re moving in a good direction. It’s only one cup in February, but it shows you are on the right direction. This has to be the inspiration and motivation to keep going and continue on this pathway.
“I see the shirt, I see the fans, I see Old Trafford, I see the legacy like Sir Alex (Ferguson) left and so many big players were developed in United teams.
“This team wants to make its own history and its own legacy. It’s about glory and honour.”
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Ten Hag spent time with Ferguson this week in the build-up to today’s Final, and the legendary former boss was in attendance at the home of football to celebrate the victory.
“He’s really involved in this Club and he’s really committed to the Club,” Ten Hag explained. “We all can learn a lot from him and what he did for Manchester United.
“It’s an inspiration for all of us and it’s an honour to share my thoughts to talk about football and how leads dressing rooms and teams and strategies. It’s very good that he wants to share that with me.”
The United boss brought two of his former Ajax players, Lisandro Martinez and Antony, to Manchester, and both were instrumental in helping the Reds secure success.
🥳 Party time for @ManUtd!#EFL | #CarabaoCupFinal pic.twitter.com/XY3xLALXAb— Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) February 26, 2023
And the trio were seen dancing together on the pitch during the post-match celebrations, recreating a scene from their days winning trophies in the Netherlands.
“We have a history together from Amsterdam – we did some dancing,” said Ten Hag. “I hope we can do even more of this, but for that, we have to invest and sacrifice every day to win trophies.
“You need personality in your squad to win. Martinez is definitely one; you can count on him and rely on him. The bond together with Rapha Varane is really strong. They know how to win trophies.”