United came from behind twice to beat Aston Villa 4-2 in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night, with Anthony Martial, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay getting on the scoresheet.
Eriksen was subbed on in the 62nd minute, just after Villa had gone 2-1 up at Old Trafford, and the midfielder’s presence seemed to instantly elevate the Red Devils’ performance after a dreary and uninspiring first-half.
Ten Hag certainly thought so, telling Sky Sports post-match: ‘They [Aston Villa] play with a high line so you have to pass the ball behind and we were quite successful in the second half.
‘The problem in the first half was that we had too many touches and missed the moment to pass the ball behind that’s why we brought Christian Eriksen on.
‘I’m really happy with that resilience. That’s what we need and have to show every game, I was so disappointed and mad on Sunday because we didn’t fight.
‘We were sloppy, especially in the defence and United players always have to show 100% discipline.’
Rashford, who was awarded man of the match on the day that he was named in England’s World Cup squad, agreed with his manager.
‘It’s the quality in the passes, the calmness, he’s a top player,’ the forward said.
‘We’re always making runs at a high tempo. We need someone on the ball who can just slow it down and see the picture and play the passes.
‘His [Eriksen’s] technical ability is the same as Bruno on the ball and we just have to give them options. We have to make runs and we have to have that belief that they’ll find us.
‘I think we have had that this season, not very game it’s come off but the more times we make the options the more times it’s going to come off.’
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