Harry Maguire has revealed his delight at helping Manchester United push towards the Champions League spots before the coronavirus-hit season was suspended.
And the Red Devils captain also hailed his fellow defenders for playing a vital role in shoring up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's defence.
When the season was brought to a temporary halt due to the global pandemic, United were on an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions and pushing hard for top-four place.
Solskjaer's side are also still in the hunt for FA Cup and Europa League glory, with Maguire convinced the team had turned a corner before the enforced break.
And the defender pointed to United's improved defensive record as a key aspect of their recent form, with Solskjaer's side having conceded just twice in their 11-game unbeaten run.
“One thing we've shored up on is defending set-plays,” Maguire told Sky Sports.
“If you look at our record before the run of clean sheets, defending set plays we were up there with one of the worst in the league.
“If you can't defend set plays and you're not scoring at the other end through them, you're not going to stand a chance of reaching where you want to go – it's such a big part of the game now.
“We've gelled together, it's a new back four, Luke [Shaw] has been playing really, really well of late. We've got Aaron [Wan-Bissaka], me and Vic (Victor Lindelof).
“Eric [Bailly] is coming back and is pushing for a place, which makes everyone up their games, because when he's come in he's done really well.
“We've got a settled back four and we're just learning each other's games really well.”
The defender also feels the progress shown by United in recent month is evidence that they are on the right track.
“I think you can see from the start of the season we look a lot more like a team and we can probably see where we want to go and where we want to head,” added Maguire.
“I knew when I first came to the club that Ole said to me loads and loads that it’s a building process, but we will get to where we want to be.
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