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Erik ten Hag ‘joined Manchester United players for punishment run’

Erik ten Hag ‘joined Manchester United players for punishment run’

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag reportedly joined his players on a 13.8km punishment run following the 4-0 defeat at Brentford in the Premier League earlier this month.

The Red Devils lost by four clear goals to the Bees on August 13 and were told to report for a training session at Carrington the next day as punishment.

Ten Hag is believed to have instructed his players to run 13.8km, which was the distance further that Brentford had covered as a team during the match.

According to The Athletic, the 52-year-old Dutchman did the same distance alongside his squad, as he wanted to send a message of ‘togetherness’ following a tough start to the season.

Man United responded by recording a 2-1 win over Liverpool in the league on Monday, with the 20-time English champions putting in a strong performance against their bitter rivals.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on August 13, 2022© Reuters

According to The Sun, Ten Hag’s decision to take part in the gruelling session in the heat saw him earn the respect of his players at the club.

The report claims that the first-team squad were initially angered by their manager’s demands but reacted positively when it became clear that the new head coach was also doing the session.

Man United, as a team, covered 18km more against Liverpool than they managed in the four-goal loss to Brentford, and the physical effort played an important role in their success over Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

Ten Hag decided to drop both Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting side against the Reds, with Raphael Varane joining Lisandro Martinez in the middle of the defence, and Marcus Rashford playing through the middle.

Maguire and Ronaldo are likely to again find themselves on the bench for Saturday’s clash with Southampton, where there could potentially be a debut for new signing Casemiro.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag serving symbolism on August 7, 2022© Reuters

Speaking after the 2-1 win over Liverpool on Monday night, Ten Hag insisted that his side have to “keep humble” and look to build on their first success of the campaign.

“I wanted a different approach, I wanted a different attitude, and that is what they bring on the pitch. That’s what makes me satisfied but it is only the start,” he told reporters.

“We have to keep humble, but I think we can play a bit better if we have a little bit more composure, give an extra pass, we can be much more dangerous, because, as I said, we have good players with good ability, with good spirit and you will act.

“That is what we showed today, in moments, but also when you have to make the game, you have to be better on the ball.

“The demand is for everyone, but also for the manager. We have to deliver. You have obligations to the club, to the fans and it is a massive club with a huge fanbase. We have to deliver that. We have to act as a team and every individual has to give every day their best. That’s the demand for a manager and also for the team.”

Man United are bidding to further improve their squad before the end of the transfer window, with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong still a target alongside Ajax’s Antony and PSV Eindhoven’s Cody Gakpo.

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