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24th Aug 2022

Erik ten Hag ‘physically shattered’ himself to run 13.8km with players after Brentford hammering

Simon Lloyd

Ten Hag’s efforts are said to have ‘made an impression’ on the United team.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reportedly made an impression on his players by taking part in a running session scheduled the day after his side lost 4-0 to Brentford.

United’s first team squad had been scheduled to have a day off last Sunday but the manner of their performance at the Gtech Community Stadium saw Ten Hag order them to report to the club’s training facilities the next morning.

The former Ajax boss then ordered them to each run 13.8 kilometres – the distance by which Brentford’s players had collectively outrun United in the embarrassing defeat.

According to The Mirror, United’s players were initially angered by the decision to cancel their day off.

To their surprise, however, Ten Hag joined them in the run, in an apparent message that he was also willing to shoulder some of the blame for the mauling against Brentford.

The 52-year-old is said to have been left ‘physically shattered’ by the run, but his willingness to participate left a big impression on his players.

A source told The Mirror: “The players were raging when they discovered their punishment for the no-show at Brentford would be an 8.5-mile run. But the moans ceased when it became clear that the manager was planning to do the same as them.

“He didn’t have to tell anyone why. It was clear that he wasn’t going to let his players take all the blame for the performance. Ten Hag also felt he had to show that he also felt culpable.

“It was a tough run for the players – but it was even more gruelling for Erik – and they were impressed.”

United’s players appear to have responded positively to the punishment. On Monday night, they won their first game of the season by beating Liverpool at home.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford saw United take a two-goal lead, and though Mo Salah pulled one back for the visitors, United’s defence stood firm in the closing stages.

They will hope to build on that win by claiming a second victory of the season at Southampton on Saturday, where United will also be looking to end a run of seven successive Premier League away defeats.

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