‘It is worth it to invest, to suffer, to sacrifice’ – Erik Ten Hag lauds Man Utd after EFL Cup final success

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Two first-half goals in the EFL Cup final handed Erik ten Hag a trophy in his first season as Manchester United manager.

Erik ten Hag wants his Manchester United players to celebrate winning the EFL Cup, before targeting further success.

Casemiro’s header and a first-half own goal from Sven Botman gave United a 2-0 win over Newcastle United in Sunday’s final at Wembley.

It marked the end of six years without a trophy for the club and handed manager Ten Hag further signs of improvement since his arrival.

“You have to celebrate it,” he said in a post-match press conference with the cup displayed in front of him. “This is not an ordinary day, we won the trophy.

“This trophy means something, that’s the feeling I have in the UK. We have to celebrate it, but then you have to move on.”

He added, “[We know] it’s worth the investment, the suffering, the sacrifice and knowing that you have to give your best every day to [ultimately be] celebrated.

“It’s about glory and honor and if you want to win something, you have to do it.

The win came just three days after United’s win against Barcelona in the Europa League play-offs and The Hag was delighted with the energy his side showed so soon after such a big performance.

“It’s a massive performance that tells you we’re fit, physically and mentally, we had energy. I think it was a great performance,” he said.

The Hag left Ajax for United at the end of last season and explained that his “love” for the club led to him agreeing to join, before suggesting that his players must leave their own legacy in the next few years.

“Maybe it was a risk [to leave Ajax], but I’m a bit stubborn,” he said. “I really love United, when I see the shirts, when I see Alex Ferguson’s legacy… this team needs to create its own legacy. When this opportunity came, I thought this is the right team for me, I wanted to be part of it.”

Club owner Avram Glazer was present at Wembley to celebrate with Ten Hag and the players after the win.

“He was really happy for the club, as an owner he really wanted to be a part of it,” Ten Hag said. “You could see that when he was in the dressing room. It was good to be a part of it.”

The Hag then left the press conference and had to be reminded not to forget the trophy before he left, joking that he would have to win more to replace it.