Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says patience was always the key with his young players after the recent emergence of Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojland.
Argentina winger Garnacho has netted seven goals in all competitions this season, including a Goal of the Season contender along with a double in last weekend’s 3-0 home win over West Ham United.
Danish off-season signing Hojland has burst to life lately, scoring five goals in his past six games, having battled in front of goal following his arrival from Atalanta.
“Players need time, especially young players like Rasmus and Alejandro,” Ten Hag told reporters on Thursday. “They need time, but also they need a team.
“Those two factors were not there in the first part of the season. We had to make a lot of adjustments to the team in our way of play, so that was by stages difficult to serve the offensive part of the team.
“When that happens, it can go really quickly, and players progress and develop.
“That’s what we’ve seen, but I was confident from the start they have the potential to do what they are doing. Now it’s about keeping going, being hungry.”
United’s win over the Hammers was significant in the race for the top four, moving the Red Devils above them and into sixth with 15 games to play.
Aston Villa are fourth on 46 points, with Tottenham fifth on 44, followed by United on 38.
“I’ve said to the team from the start of January, every game is now a final,” the Dutchman said.
“That was our approach to West Ham, we were a point behind them.
“We have to see this as a final, take this challenge, and that will be every game for us from now on. We are already in that mood.”