Nigel Clough said United's performance in the Capital One Cup success at Leyton Orient on Tuesday night needs to be a 'benchmark' moving forward.
Following Saturday's disappointing 5-2 loss at Swindon Town, Clough made six changes for the third round tie against the O's with the decisive goal coming in the second minute through recalled striker Michael Higdon.
But it was the way his side defended in the capital that pleased the Gaffer the most, he remarked:
"We are delighted to have got a clean sheet and progressed to the next round.
"After Saturday it was crucial we showed some character and defended properly, to a man the lads did their jobs outstanding well.
"We told the players we needed drastic improvements after poor performances at Colchester and Swindon.
"And apart from a couple of late efforts we limited a very good Orient side to very, very few opportunities, so the lads deserve a lot of credit for their response to the manner of the defeat at Swindon.
"This is the benchmark of how we want to defend, tackles were going and blocks were being made, regardless of what we do going forward, that is how we need to defend on a consistent basis.
"We want to progress and improve on how we play in possession, but at the moment perhaps we have to stick to getting the basics right and build from there."