Harry Maguire praised his Manchester United teammates for their second-half display at Fulham after revealing a fast start after the break had been the order at half-time.

Maguire admitted United began the game poorly, allowing the hosts to take an early lead, but Edinson Cavani had levelled by half-time.

But Maguire felt United eased up after the equaliser and the half-time message was to go for the jugular early in the second period, something the captain felt was evidenced by the performance and Paul Pogba's stunning winner.

“The last 10, 15 minutes [of the game] we had to dig in, we defended well, we defended the box well. We deserved the three points. We started the game sloppy, the reaction was brilliant, we’ve got to start the game better but we will improve," Maguire told MUTV.

“We put them under a lot of pressure and we felt the goal was coming, after we scored in the first half to draw level I felt like we came off a bit for the last 10 minutes of the first half.

“We spoke about it at half-time that we needed to start the half well and I thought we were brilliant, we created chance after chance, we felt comfortable at the back, the lads were creating chances and you always feel like they’re going to put the ball in the back of the net.

“Paul has probably ended up scoring the hardest chance we created but it shows what a talented player he is and the magic he can create if we stay in the game."

The win took United back to the top of the Premier League table at the halfway stage of the campaign, with 40 points from their first 19 games.

But Maguire said the focus in the dressing room was on improvement rather than looking at the league table.

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“That’s the main thing we speak about it, we don’t speak about the table, we speak about the improvement," he said.

"Two years ago you wouldn’t have said we’d be challenging at the top of the table, but as players we believe that we can, we expect that we can, because this club expects to challenge for the biggest trophies.

“It’s all about improvement, it’s about improving each game and each session. Tonight there are things we can improve on.

“It’s nice to have the points tally but there’s long a way to go and there are a lot of things we need to improve on to stay there."