Erik ten Hag has reportedly threatened to send Manchester United players to the reserves if they repeat their capitulation in the 7-0 hammering against Liverpool on Sunday.

Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah all helped themselves to braces, while substitute Roberto Firmino completed the utter humiliation in the 88th minute.

In his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Ten Hag, who recently guided United to their first trophy in six years, came down hard and branded his players “really unprofessional”.

He also said they “didn’t play as a team” and “didn’t track back” in the rout.

But privately, The Mirror say the Dutchman was even more brutal in his assessment. Ripping into the underperforming team, he told them they were lucky to be heading back to Manchester on the team bus and not with the fans who paid their hard-earned money to watch the embarrassment of a display.

Having seen his side ship four against Brentford and six against Manchester City, Ten Hag also informed his players that he wouldn’t hesitate to drop them to the Under 21 side if a repeat scenario occurred.

Image: AlamyA source told The Mirror: “Ten Hag was obviously furious and told them they were lucky to be getting on the team bus back to Old Trafford and not made to travel back with the fans.

“He warned them all that if anything like that happens again, there won’t be another chance for them and they’ll be put in the Under-21s.”

Image: AlamyThis was a motivational tactic to ensure they do not have to experience it again.

United’s players were at Carrington for 9am for a recovery session and Sunday inquest, with Ten Hag present two hours before everyone else.