The captain has responded…
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire admits the team deserve recent criticism and have to show they have what it takes to pull on the shirt.
The Red Devils suffered a first defeat under interim manager Ralf Rangnick with a 1-0 Premier League home defeat by Wolves on Monday night.
United’s meek performance was followed by reports about a poor mood inside the dressing room, and on the back of being branded “a bunch of whinge-bags” by former defender turned TV pundit Gary Neville during half-time of the 1-1 draw at struggling Newcastle.
Maguire knows the players must do better, as they prepare to return to action in the third round of the FA Cup against Aston Villa on Monday night.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 8, 2022
Harry Maguire on Man United’s problems
“I’ve obviously seen a lot of criticism and a lot of is absolutely justified, but for me, with this team, it shouldn’t need criticism to motivate players,” Maguire told national newspapers, in an interview published on www.manutd.com.
“If players of this quality aren’t motivated to play for this club when they pull the shirt on, then there’s something wrong.”
Maguire added, seemingly in response to the Roy Keanes and Gary Nevilles of the world: “From what the fans and ex-players have said, we get it.
“As I just said, a lot of it is justified and we all have to take massive responsibility, myself as captain as much as anyone, if not more. We’ve got to start playing well and winning.
“This team finished second last year and we have a better and bigger squad this year, so we have to show the right attitude.
“We have big players in the team; leaders. I’m sick of repeating myself but it can’t continue like this – we need to go on a proper run, starting Monday.”
Maguire is expecting a reaction, but played down suggestions of disharmony in the dressing room.
“We are all angry and want to do our best, which has probably come across on the pitch at times, but the team spirit is good, despite what people say,” the England defender added.
“Being a professional footballer, you have to take criticism on the chin and react well to it.
“At the same time, you have to ignore the outside noise sometimes and just get your head down (in training).
“We know if we can put together a run of results then everything else takes care of itself.”