‘He has taken the initiative’ – Erik ten Hag explains how Harry Maguire has forced his way back into Man Utd XI plans
Posted by  badge Boss on Apr 09, 2023 - 08:20AM
Maguire provided an assured display at the back against Everton (Picture: Getty)

believes is now transferring the manager’s demands ‘on the pitch’ after the captain’s performance in the victory over .

Maguire has slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford this season with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane ten Hag’s preferred pairing at the back.

The England international was brought back into the side on Saturday afternoon however,

Maguire turned in an assured display at the back as either side of half-time.

The former Leicester City has made just six starting appearances in the league but ten Hag has previously hailed the defender’s attitude and leadership qualities amid those limited opportunities.

Speaking after the Everton win, ten Hag also singled out the defender for ‘taking the initiative’ in his performances, believing he is now displaying the requirements on the pitch he has demanded from his defenders.

‘It is not easy for Harry,’ ten Hag said in his post-match press conference.

Maguire has started just six league games this season (Picture: Getty)

‘When you deliver the performance he did today, in and out of position, dominating and dictating, that is my demand on him and he transferred that on the pitch.

‘I think this is a different Harry Maguire from the first weeks and months. He has taken so much initiative, dominating his opponent, stepping in and bringing passes so it was a great performance from Harry.’

United missed a host of chances to put the game to bed before half-time with Antony and Rashford seeing efforts kept out by Jordan Pickford.

While failing to put Everton to the sword, Maguire believed the first-half showing was one of their best of the season.

‘If we’d come in at half-time 4-0 up, I think no-one would be complaining,’ Maguire told MUTV.

‘But nothing is ever comfortable in the Premier League, to be honest. It should have been comfortable. That’s for sure. When the game is at 1-0, you are never comfortable, anything can happen in the Premier League. Everyone has that bit of quality. Set-plays, they are dangerous from. They won a lot of headers and you know they are going to have those one or two moments.

‘We had to kill the game off at half-time, the first half was excellent, great football on the front foot. Numerous chances, controlled the game, played in their half. I think we thoroughly deserved the three points. The only thing probably missing was more goals.’


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