Victor Lindelof says Manchester United must keep building after Erik ten Hag’s below-par side fought for a fourth narrow win in five Premier League matches.
This has been a difficult second campaign to date for the Dutchman, who oversaw a ninth loss in 17 games in Wednesday’s 4-3 Champions League collapse at Copenhagen.
United rallied at a packed Old Trafford on Saturday and Lindelof’s second-half goal secured a 1-0 win against unfancied Luton, easing pressure before an international break they head into in a surprisingly good spot.
Despite relentless scrutiny and some chastening defeats, no team has won more points over their last five Premier League games than a Red Devils team with plenty of improvements to make.
“We want to score more goals and that’s the next step for us,” Lindelof said.
“Right now the most important thing is the three points and the result.
“But after that we have to keep going, keep working and building and hopefully we can score goals, close the game and not make it difficult for ourselves. But it’s step by step.
“We haven’t been playing at the highest level and we know that. We’ve just got to keep working hard.
“”We’re (not far) off the top four, and it shows that even if we’re not playing at the highest level, we can still get a result.”
All seven of United’s Premier League wins this term have come by a one-goal margin.
Ten Hag believes things will improve when his goal-shy frontmen’s form turns and is happy how others have stepped up in the meantime, with defender Lindelof lashing home just his fourth for the club on Saturday.
“It’s always special and nice to score a goal – I don’t score that many anymore,” the Sweden skipper told MUTV.
“To score the match-winner in front of the Stretford End is a special feeling and I felt that today.
“I saw the ball drop and I was thinking to myself ‘just try and hit it quite hard and quite high’. It was a good goal, I think.
“After the goal we dropped a little bit but, like I said, three points was the most important thing.”
Man Utd take the lead against Luton!
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 11, 2023
Lindelof and many of his team-mates now turn their attention to international matters with United now not back in action until the trip to Everton on November 26.
Luton return to Premier League matters a day earlier at home to Crystal Palace as Rob Edwards’ promoted side look for a second victory of a season after a pair of promising displays.
“We are disappointed,” the Hatters boss said after a narrow loss at Old Trafford followed a 1-1 home draw with Liverpool.
“Of course, there was hard work in the performance and there was good quality in the second half from us.
“We showed a lot of bravery on the ball, and our fans know we aren’t a team that necessarily dominates on the ball.
“To grow on the ball in one of the best stadiums in the world and in the toughest league in the world is difficult, so the boys showed incredible bravery.
“It was harder to break United down later in the game as they got more players behind the ball, we just needed to find moments in the game at the right times and create some chances.
“I saw a determination, a steel, a grit about us in that first half, we rode our luck once or twice but had a chance of our own through the Carlton (Morris) header and it was important to stay in the game.
Unmatched support. pic.twitter.com/4eC1xcim9j
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) November 11, 2023
“The support we had from the fans was incredible today. It was very important at the beginning that we showed that respect which we did immaculately, and then I could hear them the whole game.
“It made me really proud to be representing this club and I hope everyone has a safe journey home.
“Take a lot from it, be proud of the football club today, but we are greedy and we want more points.”