Harry Maguire believes Manchester United’s victory over Villarreal will be “massive” for their season.
The win comes just days after United sacked manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following a 4-1 defeat to Premier League strugglers Watford.
Caretaker boss Michael Carrick was on the touchline in Spain and oversaw the result that secures United’s place in the last 16 of the Champions League.
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"It's massive for our season,” United captain Maguire told BT Sport.
“The last couple of months have been nowhere near good enough and we needed to get a result for our season and our fans.
We need to make sure that's just the start and we push on.
It looked as though the match could be heading for a stalemate before Cristiano Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 78th minute.
Jadon Sancho then made sure of the win with his first goal for the club since joining from Borussia Dortmund.
"It was tough and edgy in the first half,” added Maguire. “It was important to stay in the game and I thought the lads who came off the bench really helped us push on and the second-half performance was really good. The emphasis was getting a result. Coming away from home in Europe you have to be solid. We got what we deserved in the end because of the chances we created.
"We want to be on the front foot and aggressive and in the first half maybe we played with too much fear. But we spoke about that and the first goal came from pressure.
"Ronaldo has been brilliant. We need to get back to being solid because if we do that we have every chance to win games when we have him up front."
United have two more tricky fixtures coming up as they travel to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday before facing Arsenal next Thursday.
"It was a tough game,” said Carrick. “They are a good team that make you work in possession and I thought the boys dug in and showed a little bit of everything.

Michael Carrick

Image credit: Getty Images

“When you have suffered results wise and you are not in a great run of form then it’s not easy to come out and for everything to click. In some ways it was the best way to win for me. We had to show some character, we had to dig in and fight.
“To finish it off with Jadon was brilliant. I know how much he loves the ball at his feet and trying to make things happen, that’s where he is happiest, but he put a real effort in for us defensively when we needed it. It was a big night for him.”
Asked how he find the experience of taking charge of his first game, Carrick added: “I’ve really enjoyed it.
“The support I have had… it’s not been an easy couple of days for everyone at the club. That result almost feels like it’s for Ole and I can’t get away from that. We had a job to do and when I was there and things needed to be taken care of I was happy to do it and thankfully it all went to plan in the end.”
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