Manchester United

Erik ten Hag joined Man Utd squad on 14km run as punishment for Brentford humiliation

Jamie Spencer
Erik ten Hag cancelled a day off after Man Utd's defeat to Brentford
Erik ten Hag cancelled a day off after Man Utd's defeat to Brentford / IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag punished his squad in the wake of their humiliating 4-0 defeat against Brentford earlier this month - but the Dutchman joined in with the punishment himself and it helped earn him the respect of his players.

United conceded four goals in the first half of a woeful display against Brentford, with post-game statistics revealing that Ten Hag’s team had been outrun by nearly 14km.

It was a shocking figure that went some way to explaining just why United had been embarrassed in the manner they had, with Brentford seeming to win every duel and react quickest to loose balls.

With the game on Saturday night, United players had been due for a planned day off on Sunday. But it was immediately cancelled by Ten Hag and he called the squad in for extra training instead.

It was also reported at the time that the Dutchman demanded his players make up the difference by running the extra distance to match Brentford’s numbers.

United have since beaten Liverpool to finally get off the mark in the Premier League this season. But there is perhaps an explanation behind the sudden turnaround.

Listen now to 90min's Manchester United podcast, The Promised Land, with Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette. In the latest edition they dissect the brilliant performance against Liverpool, Erik ten Hag's key decisions, Casemiro's signing and what it means for the season ahead.

The Daily Mail has now reported that while the players were unhappy at losing a day off and being told to run, Ten Hag made it plain that he considers himself a member of the squad too and made a point of participating in the run to underline that everyone is responsible.

The report added that Ten Hag, long since removed from his playing days, struggled to get through the run, but it still earned him some more respect from the players, including those who were yet to be fully convinced by the former Ajax coach.

Ten Hag has already stated in the wake of the Liverpool game that United players must be prepared to 'suffer' this season if they are to have a chance of achieving their targets.