To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Bruno Fernandes explains how Manchester United players felt after Erik ten Hag cancelled their day off to make them run 13.8km

Dylan Penketh

Published 
| Last updated 

Bruno Fernandes explains how Manchester United players felt after Erik ten Hag cancelled their day off to make them run 13.8km

Featured Image Credit: The Athletic

Manchester United suffered one of the most embarrassing Premier League defeats of the season so far back in August, losing 4-0 to Brentford.

The score line is hard enough, but the manner of the defeat made it so much worse.

Manchester United were totally outclassed on the day, with the players being rated as having one of their collective worst performances to date.

A few days after the fixture, it was revealed that Erik ten Hag had cancelled the following day's planned day off in order to punish the players for such a poor performance.

During the session the following day, Ten Hag made every player run 13.8 kilometres, representing the difference in total distance covered by each team in the fixture the day before.

However, he did not just blame the players. Ten Hag himself reportedly ran the distance himself too to show the players that the loss was a collective failure not just a failure by the players.

This move has since become a famous example of Ten Hag's management style so far at United, and speaking to the Athletic, current on-field captain Bruno Fernandes has revealed how the moment felt and why it's changed the squad.

“He went straight to his rules, to his demands, what he wants from us," Fernandes said. "He’d say, ‘I want to play with us always pressing on the ball, be hungry to do good things, to fight for the team, to be tough to beat’.

"I could feel in the training sessions after Brentford that we were going to do something different.”

The running gave the players a very real perspective change in how hard they should be working to win in the Premier League, and Fernandes has said it was a "good" thing that the players had to endure this.

“It is good that everyone takes the blame themselves because it was not everyone doing the right things,” Fernandes says.

"That can be the players or the manager, but normally it is the player and the manager together.

"As a message, it was good for the team. Discipline is what he wants and we have to follow the rules."

Erik ten Hag is always very active on the Manchester United touchline. (Alamy)
Erik ten Hag is always very active on the Manchester United touchline. (Alamy)

“Players do not like to run, sometimes a manager makes choices that you do not understand, but you will probably understand the benefit later on.”

Fernandes also detailed how personal Erik ten Hag is with each players development, giving an example of how he calls players in for one-on-one meetings in order to improve their abilities and adaptation to Ten Hag's system.

“Individually, he calls the players many times to show us clips and he will say, ‘Here, I prefer you to do another kind of thing’. That is good, because players need time to get the best out of the idea that he wants to do.”

Manchester United's next fixture is against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, which will take place on 2 October in the Premier League.

They have won four Premier League fixtures on the bounce, however this will be the toughest test yet for Erik ten Hag and his squad.

Topics: Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag, Bruno Fernandes, Brentford

Dylan Penketh
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Football

Jaap Stam expertly breaks down how to defend against Erling Haaland

5 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Cristiano Ronaldo's disasterclass against Spain shown in highlights reel

14 hours ago