Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has addressed criticisms of Harry Maguire, admitting he has had ‘some weaker moments’.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash against Burnley, the boss said:
‘I think after he came back after his injury he did extremely well he had a very good performance against West Ham.
‘In the last two games, yeah he had some weaker moments both against Southampton and when we conceded the goal against Burnley.
‘He is our captain and I don’t see any reason to change that. He is also a player who has to develop and get better like all the other players.
‘The way we playing now is new to him, also because in the national team he is used to playing in a back three and here at Manchester United in most cases in a back four, but still not being as proactive, not with that kind of rest defence, always being on the front foot when we are trying to defend.
‘This is something new to him and it will take for him to adjust to that, to get used to that.’
It is the second time in successive press conferences that the manager has had to address issues around Maguire’s performances.
With Victor Lindelof champing at the bit and Eric Bailly back in training after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations with an ankle injury, Rangnick does have options if he decides to rest Maguire for tonight’s game.
Whilst giving Maguire time to adapt to the new system would be ideal, now is arguably not the time.
More slip-ups could see United’s top four chances regress even further.
One of the issues, raised by Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl after Saturday’s game, is the ease in which teams can counter-attack over the top of United’s back line, which is partly related to Maguire’s lack of pace, as we discussed in an article on Sunday.