United put on a strong display to take the points in front of 2,000 socially distanced fans on Wednesday night, and manager Chris Beech spoke afterwards about how much the win had meant to the players and the dressing room as a whole.
“We were playing a very good opponent, who are financed very heavily to try and keep building, and it’s an example of how there are very different types of teams within our league,” he said. “We asked a lot of questions of Salford and they answered a lot, because they’re a good team and did very well to stay in a game they could possibly get some points out of.
“But in terms of how we played and what we did, I’m very pleased with that. They’ve got a great squad, I think they made nine changes to play Newport on Saturday. They’re well coached, have a good manager, he’ll get them right, but I’m thankful we got the upper hand against them.”
The extremely energetic performance was another example of how the current squad will compete and often go on to dominate games.
“It’s happening because we recruited good character and developed a culture and environment that’s like this,” he explained. “In theory, and in any business or anything you do, you’re keeping up with the neighbours, the Joneses, and it’s difficult because of that.
“But we have to just concentrate on what we are, what we do. I said in interviews in the summer about Wycombe Wanderers, they have their lovers and haters for the way they play, but one thing is completely commendable – that team spirit to go through those leagues with a group of people, a good manager, and get great success for it.
“Now they’re in the Championship there are different questions asked of them, but you can only look from afar and think wow, what a great team spirit that is. We talked about that in pre-season with the lads.
“You have to be very respectful of your opponent. We are, we’re competitive, but we’re not disrespectful in the way we’re trying to achieve what we’re doing. We have great winning, competitive spirit.
“To win games you have to be competitive, and hopefully we can stay competitive from now until the end of the season.”
On the level of the performance overall, he told us: “That’s the real deal, isn’t it. That’s a five-star performance. It was excellent.
“It was a shame they scored, but it didn’t really make me feel that nervy. I felt more in control than we have previously when we’ve conceded.
“We had a few fouls which would have gone in our favour, but the ref didn’t support them. I think it was the right thing to get Joe Riley on to try and stop the left-back, who became dominant in the last 15 minutes, to cross.
“But I’m so pleased for the supporters and extra pleased for the players. We didn’t let them get near us and we deserved the victory, so it became a good night.”
One down side for the night was a fifth booking for Callum Guy, within the 19-game timeline, which means he’ll miss out on the weekend trip to Bradford.
“He had to come but it’s not muscle, it was more chest related,” he said. “It might be rib, I don’t know, I’ve just come straight out and I haven’t spoken to the physio.
“Maybe if it is an injury it will coincide with the suspension, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
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