Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag furiously let rip at Bruno Fernandes after the club’s nightmare 4-0 defeat to Brentford last weekend, reports say. The Portugal international was one of the worst players on the pitch as the Red Devils were played off the park at the Gtech Community Stadium. And his place in the team is now uncertain as a result, particularly given his alarming dip in form.
Manchester United had gone into last weekend’s clash with Brentford looking to bounce back, having slipped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford in their opening game of the season.
However, they endured yet another rough day at the office with goals from Josh Dasilva, Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo giving the home side all three points.
It was a poor display from United and Fernandes, like many of his teammates, was abysmal as they slipped to defeat.
And a source has now told The Sun that Ten Hag was livid with the Portugal international after the game and vented his anger towards the playmaker inside the dressing room.
“After the Brentford game, Ten Hag tore strips off Bruno in particular,” they’re quoted as saying.
“Everyone thinks he’s letting Bruno, Maguire and Ronaldo know they are not guaranteed a starting spot, no matter what their status in the team is.”
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The source also reveals that Ten Hag has been forcing United players to watch clips of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea in an attempt to inspire them.
He wants his team to play a high-pressing style but, so far, they’ve been unable to get to grips with his methods.
“Ten Hag and Steve McClaren are acting as good cop and bad cop,” said the insider.
“Ten Hag is hammering the players and McClaren is putting an arm around them as best he can.
“The manager has told the players, ‘I’m drilling you and drilling you. What do you not get?’
“He’s accused them of having no chemistry and has shown them videos of Liverpool and City and how they deal with issues on the pitch.
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“He also showed the squad how Chelsea attacked Spurs last weekend in the hope it helps them understand how he wants them to play.
“He knew confidence was low but he realized just how big the job is and appears to have the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“Ten Hag has told the players that he’ll take the blame for them not being fit enough, but he’s criticized them for not having enough hunger.”
There’s said to be a fear at United that things will get worse before they get better, with Liverpool up next on Monday night.
The Reds thumped their rivals 5-0 in the same fixture at Old Trafford last season, with Mohamed Salah bagging a memorable hat-trick.
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And United then lost 4-0 to Liverpool back in April, with Ralf Rangnick conceding after the game that the club needed as many as 10 new players.
Fans are set to protest against the Glazers, having previously got the same fixture called off last year.
Yet Ten Hag has insisted the Americans want United to win trophies, while also calling on everyone to be ‘unified’ as they look to improve and climb up the table.
“I can only say the owners want to win and the fans – we want them behind the club,” said the 52-year-old.
“I can understand sometimes [the sentiment] but I am not that long in the club to see all the backgrounds. We have to fight together and be unified.”
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And he also revealed that he was unhappy with United’s start to the season. Ten Hag added: “I was definitely not happy.
“You can talk about football, you can talk about the plan, philosophy but it starts with the basic stuff, the right attitude, fighting attitude and I didn’t see that from minute one.
“Bring it in every game on the pitch, especially Monday night.
“It starts with yourself, act as a team, follow the rules and principles and work hard, as hard as you can maximize and if you do that you can gain confidence.
“It’s not difficult to motivate this team because my experience is that they work really well on the training pitch.”
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