LONDON. — Harry Maguire had to think long and hard when asked if there were any similarities between Gareth Southgate and Erik ten Hag.
“Erm, I wouldn’t say there was too much similar,” declared the Manchester United defender.
He is not wrong there.
For starters, where Maguire is concerned, there is one glaring, fundamental difference between the two managers.
One rates Maguire highly, the other does not.
Simple as that.
And while the 30-year-old centre-half has always steered clear of publicly questioning his club boss, it is clear his fall from grace at Old Trafford has mystified and troubled him.
Indeed, Maguire points to United’s recent record with him in the team as evidence of why he should not be overlooked so often.
“If you look back on my last 15-20 starts for club and country, I would be happy to sit here and say I’m really happy with my performances. My record under this manager (Ten Hag) speaks for itself. I haven’t started as many games as I would like but my win percentage when I’ve played is ridiculously high.
“Of course there are times when I could do more and times when I could improve and help the team. I can only do what I’ve been doing when I’ve come into the team … bringing positive performances
“But I’m just wanting to help the team, I’m wanting to help the team get out of this position we’re in at the moment.”
Maguire made his first Premier League start of the season last Saturday and his assist provided Scott McTominay and United with a dramatic last-gasp winner against Brentford at Old Trafford.
But if Raphael Varane regains full fitness over the international break, there is every chance Maguire will make way for the Frenchman for the next Premier League match, at Sheffield United on Saturday week.
“I want to fight for my place but, of course, game time is really important to me.
“It’s not my decision whether I start the next game or not. I’m unsure about that. In a couple of weeks I’ll go back and find out.
“It has been tough, I want to play games, I want to feel important to the club and to the rest of the team. At the moment I haven’t been playing anywhere near as much as I would like. That is the bottom line.” — Mirror.