Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has hinted to manager Erik ten Hag that he is better suited to play deeper and defend in his own box.
The United captain 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 final minutes of the match he, Lisandro Martínez and David de Gea collected all three points for the Red Devils.
Maguire and Martinez were caught by West Ham’s advances but held their ground to see the game in a good way.
The Englishman said: “As a central defender and as a central defender who likes to defend the box, it’s really – the last 20 minutes [against West Ham] – they are really nice.”
“Although they are very tense, it is something that Licha and I [Martinez] The ones we were talking about, are the moments when you want to play”.
“You want to defend, you want to keep a clean sheet, do everything to keep the ball out of the back of the net and I think we did very well in the last 20 minutes.”
Maguire’s critics have pointed out that his lack of pace is not suited to an Erik ten Hag system that requires quick central defenders with an explosive recovery rate to play high up the pitch. By 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 players must seek to break into the cups and fight on all fronts.
He lamented the team’s struggles last year, in which United dropped out of domestic competition early as well as finishing sixth in the Premier League.
Maguire ended by issuing a wake-up call to his teammates that they should look to win trophies this season in an effort to restore the club to its former glory.
Hopefully United will get their revenge on Villa and give themselves a springboard into the Carabao Cup.
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