Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has hinted to manager Erik ten Hag that he is best suited to playing deeper and defending in his own box.
The United skipper spoke to club media ahead of the team’s Carabao cup tie against Aston Villa, just days after suffering a devastating defeat at the hands of Unai Emery’s side.
Maguire reflected on the 1-0 win against West Ham where in the last minutes of the game, he, Lisandro Martinez and David de Gea’s heroics earned the Red Devils all three points.
Maguire and Martinez were pinned back by West Ham’s advances but held firm to see out the game in fine fashion.
The Englishman said, ” As a centre-back, and a centre-back who likes to defend the box, it’s really – the last 20 minutes [against West Ham] – are really enjoyable.”
“Although they are really tense, it’s something that me and Licha [Martinez] were speaking about, they’re the moments you want to play for.”
“You want to defend, you want to hold on to that clean sheet, do everything you can to keep the ball out of the back of the net and I think we did it really well in the last 20 minutes.”
Maguire’s critics have pointed out that his lack of pace does not suit an Erik ten Hag system which requires speedy centre-backs with explosive recovery pace to play high up the pitch. As per Maguire’s own admission, he is more comfortable playing inside the box where he thrives – as he did against West Ham.
In his interview, the 29-year-old added that the players must look to venture deep into cup competitions and fight on all fronts.
He rued the team’s struggles last year which saw United drop out early in domestic competitions on top of finishing sixth in the Premier League.
Maguire finished off by issuing a rallying call to his teammates that they must look to win silverware this season in an effort to restore the club to its former glory.
With luck, United will exact revenge on Villa and give themselves a springboard to go deep into the Carabao cup.
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