was the unfortunate target of mockery from Iranian fans ahead of England’s clash with Iran in their opener on Monday afternoon.
Maguire is in ’s starting XI in Al Rayyan, playing in a back four alongside his regular partner John Stones at centre-back.
He will be boosted by the faith shown in him by Southgate, but the Iran supporters are trying to get him down with some brutal banners in the stands ahead of the match.
One message read, ‘It’s not coming home because of Harry Maguire’ while another banner stated, ‘Harry Maguire your defense is terrifying.’
It is unlikely to bother the Manchester United defender, but he will be under plenty of scrutiny as he keeps his place in the England team despite injury and poor form at club level.
Southgate has stuck by the man who starred in England’s runs to the 2018 World Cup semi-final and the European Championship final last year, hoping he will produce the goods on the big stage again.
Former England captain Rio Ferdinand says Maguire has been ‘impeccable’ for the Three Lions in the past and has backed the ‘special relationship’ he clearly has with his manager.
‘That goes back to the experiences [Maguire] has had with tournament football,’ Ferdinand said on the BBC. ‘He’s been impeccable with England. He’s not in form but you can see a special relationship that’s been built with Southgate.’
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