Erik ten Hag suffers blow as Man Utd confirm unexpected departure

Manchester United are in the midst of a behind-the-scenes reshuffle following Erik ten Hag’s appointment but have reluctantly waved goodbye highly-rated coach Justin Cochrane, who has joined Brentford

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Manchester United have confirmed the departure of highly-rated coach Justin Cochrane, who has joined Brentford in an unexpected departure from Old Trafford.

The 40-year-old spent a year with the Red Devils as head of player development and coaching but was this week poached by the Bees in a fresh blow to new United manager Erik ten Hag. Cochrane has signed a three-year contract with Brentford and will work alongside Thomas Frank in a newly-created role, head of coaching.

Having coached England’s youth teams within the Football Association and earning his badges over nine years at Tottenham Hotspur, the former Crewe Alexandra defender was snapped up by the Red Devils last summer amid competition from clubs who offered him first-team positions.

Impressing throughout a season which saw United win the FA Youth Cup, Cochrane has returned to his home city of London to fulfill his ambition of working at senior level.

“Justin is an outstanding coach who has been doing very good work in recent years with Tottenham, England and Manchester United,” said Phil Giles, the Bees’ director of football. “We’ve known him for a while and so when the opportunity came up this summer to be able to bring him to the Club, we were excited to be able to do so. Justin will be part of the First Team coaching group under the continued leadership of Thomas Frank.

“The Head of Coaching role is a new one for us but will help us bring the coaching staff across the Club even closer together and ensure that we are totally aligned in our coaching principles across teams. We look forward to Justin joining us for day one of pre-season.”







Highly-rated coach Cochrane has left Man Utd to join Brentford
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Manchester United via Getty Images)

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The Hackney-born tactician’s role at Old Trafford will be filled internally by Travis Binnion, who led the Red Devils’ under-18 side to the aforementioned Youth Cup and will continue to be their head coach.

The Red Devils’ head of academy, Nick Cox, told The Athletic: “Naturally, we are pleased that Justin has been able to fulfill his ambition of working in a first-team environment. I am proud of the world-class learning environment that we have created for our staff and take great satisfaction in seeing them progress both within the club or through external opportunities.

“The changes implement an ideal blend of long-standing club personnel and outstanding external appointments as we continue to appoint best-in-class staff throughout our world-leading youth development system.” Cochrane’s departure adds to somewhat of a mass exodus behind the scenes of Old Trafford this summer, following Neil Wood, Neil Ryan and Alan Fettis out of the United’s famous academy.

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