‘It wasn’t easy’ - Brentford coach opens up about Man Utd exit

The highly-rated coach has done some impressive work at Brentford behind-the-scenes so far

Brentford’s Head of Coaching Justin Cochrane has admitted it ‘wasn’t easy’ to leave Manchester United last summer but says he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to move to the Gtech Community Stadium. The 40-year-old joined the Bees in June and has made a positive impression with the Premier League club.

He spent his playing career with the likes of QPR, Rotherham United and Crewe Alexandra before hanging up his boots in 2013. The Londoner then delved into the coaching world with stints with England, Tottenham Hotspur, AFC Wimbledon and with the FA.

United came calling for him in June 2021 and he spent 12 months as Head of Player Development and Coaching at Old Trafford. However, he decided to leave the North West giants for a new challenge at Brentford.

Cochrane has revealed why to the Bees’ club website: “I had the opportunity to work with Thomas (Frank), the opportunity to work in the Premier League with a progressive club, and I just wanted to learn again. It’s another new challenge.

“I saw it as more learning, working with good people, working in a good environment. I spent a short time working with the AFC Wimbledon first team in League One, but I wanted to test myself in the Premier League. There were some manager offers from League One clubs and some assistant coach roles at other Premier League clubs.”

He added: “But, in the end, it was an easy decision. It wasn’t easy to leave Manchester United, but I wanted to go from working with youth players to working with the first team. I did 14 years with youth players at a good level, so to go to Brentford in a first-team environment, I felt like that was the next step for me as a coach.

“Once I had my mind set on Brentford, I’d met Thomas a few times and I’d met Phil, I just felt like it was the right fit; there were some good people to continue learning from, and it’s been a brilliant six months so far.”

In ther Brentford news, Thomas Frank has been linked with Everton after their decision to sack Frank Lampard. However, Football Insider claim the Bees have rejected an approach from the Toffees.