Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag was pleased that his side learned their lesson from this month’s Brentford humiliation in their 1-0 win over Southampton.
The Red Devils struck in the second half through Bruno Fernandes’s volley but were forced to hang on to make it back-to-back league victories after also beating Liverpool on Monday.
And Ten Hag insists he was most encouraged that his side avoided a repeat of the defensive collapse against Brentford on the south coast.
“I think the players learnt some lessons from Brentford,” the Dutchman said. “We were more compact on the long balls. Of course we were really happy. The goal we created, we could have made more. You hope to have more control in the last 30 minutes of the game.
“Before half time we already had the best chance of the game. I was satisfied. At the start of the game we could have created more. It is the start of the season, it is tough. You have to battle and we did that today so we were rewarded.
“It was a fantastic finish. I am really happy for Bruno [Fernandes]. But I think it was the best part of us. We kept control straight after half-time. We moved it around and we created three really good chances straight after half time and that is how I want us to play.
“I still feel there is room for improvement, to control more, but we are not that long in our way. We can improve that is clear.”
Ten Hag also credited last weekend’s win over Liverpool for restoring belief among his players, although he was keen to underline that there are still areas for improvement.
“The win against Liverpool gave us a lot of belief because we knew we could compete against one of the best teams in the world,” he added.
“Still at the start of the season it is really tough and hard work so everyone in the squad needs to be conscious of that. There is room for improvement but there was also some really good football. The last half an hour was a survival and there I think we can do better.”