David Wagner gave a big ‘thumbs up’ to Flo Hadergjonaj for his performance in central midfield against Manchester United.

The 23-year-old Swiss international signed on loan for Town from Ingolstadt as a right-back, and has provided strong competition for club captain Tommy Smith in that role.

But as Town chased a first win at Old Trafford in 88 years, the head coach restored Smith to the back line and opted to used Hadergjonaj in midfield rather than promote £10m No10 signing Alex Pritchard from the bench.

“Flo played this position until he was 19 or 20, he was a central midfielder,” explained Wagner after watching Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez score to give Manchester United a 2-0 victory.

“He is used to this position, even though he played for the last three or four years as a right back.

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“I spoke to him about (playing) this position and he was totally confident about it.

“I wanted to give Aaron (Mooy) a rest and Danny Williams was injured, unfortunately, so Flo was our solution and I think he did well.”

Fans on social media have questioned why Pritchard was not slotted in, while Mooy was into the action after only 32 minutes in a tactical switch with Phil Billing.

Mooy played better than of late and Smith, in the back line, also responded well to his recall.

“I think defensively we did well,” said Wagner.

“We wanted to stay compact with good organisation, and frustrated Man United for as long as we could – unfortunately it was not over the whole time.

“Man United didn’t panic, they worked hard and eventually made use of a chance. We made one mistake too many before the second one and I think it was a fair result.

“But defensively I saw everything I wanted – work ethic, attitude, desire, effort and togetherness - everything you have to show to try and get something out of a game.”