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Erik ten Hag told two 'big' reasons for sudden change in Manchester United's form

Former Manchester United midfielder Gordon Strachan believes Erik ten Hag's switch to a more direct style of football and the return of Casemiro from injury have been vital to the Reds' recent results.

United headed into Sunday's clash with Aston Villa knowing a defeat would all but end any hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League. However, a dogged display in the West Midlands has brought United back into contention.

Rasmus Hojlund gave United the lead in the first half from close range before Villa bagged a deserved equaliser from Douglas Luiz with less than half an hour to go. With momentum seemingly with the hosts, the Reds struck late to bag all three points.

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A cross from Diogo Dalot was superbly headed home by substitute Scott McTominay as Ten Hag's team moved within six points of the top four. Reflecting on his old club's recent success, Strachan told Lord Ping why he thinks it has turned around for the Reds.

"Have Manchester United turned a corner? I think there are a couple of things that have made a big difference to Erik ten Hag over the last few weeks: The return of Casemiro and Manchester United becoming very effective from set plays and playing a more direct brand of football," he explained.

"Casemiro makes a massive difference to Manchester United. I know people have said that he hasn’t been at his best this season; he’s slow, but he’s one of those players that when you’re a manager standing in the dugout watching the match, you think to yourself: ‘Thank goodness he’s here’. Casemiro is a big player for United.

"I think everyone was probably expecting Erik ten Hag to