Maguire hails Reds' response since Spurs defeat
Harry Maguire says Manchester United’s defence must continue to build the platform for our attacking players to shine at the other end of the field.
Since our disappointing Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur prior to the international break, United have responded with three wins and a draw, scoring 11 goals in the process and keeping two clean sheets.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side thrashed Newcastle United 4-1 at St James’ Park following the Spurs shock, beat Paris Saint-Germain in France and then drew 0-0 with Chelsea before the 5-0 stunning Champions League destruction of RB Leipzig.
After such an emphatic run of results, Maguire is keen to highlight how efficiently the Reds have recored from that 6-1 loss at the start of the month.
“After Spurs, we were all devastated and just three games into the season it felt like it was a big crisis,” the captain told us, after the win over Leipzig.
“It was quite a strange feeling, but we don’t expect to lose games at Old Trafford and we definitely don’t expect to lose games like we did.
“The first three games we were conceding far too many chances. So as a defensive unit, having kept the most clean sheets in Europe last season, we knew we had to improve to be more solid.
“We have worked hard on the training ground and since the international break we have gone back to not conceding chances like last year, when we were a solid unit and a solid base.
“It has been important, for me as a defender, to give the forward lads every opportunity to go and win the game.
“One, two, three goals it should end up in a win. At the moment we are doing that. It’s a start, but it is still an early win in the season.
“It is going to be a long journey, but we’ve got to improve. We know that and we are doing so at the minute, but there is a long way to go.”
Maguire is now targeting a consistent standard that United must achieve if we are to finish the season with silverware.
“It is the start of a European campaign where we want to be successful," Harry says. "We don’t want to stop in the group stage; we want to get through and be successful in the knockout stages.
“That is the standards we have set and the expectations we have set. Last season you have seen a lot of our top performances brought out great results. We know we can get to the level and the level has to be hit more. It has got to be more consistent.
“I think you have seen that since the international break. We have come back with a great mentality. We needed a reaction. The only way was up.
“We had a bad start to the season, we knew that. We have had a good reaction [since]. Obviously, [we're] disappointed not to win the game against Chelsea but we have another big game at the weekend [against Arsenal] and one we have to perform in like tonight.”
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After we host the Gunners on Sunday, United travel to Istanbul to play the third Group H match against Basaksehir and then face Everton at Goodison Park ahead of another international break in mid-November.
“It is going to be a strange season where you are playing every four days,” Maguire opined. “It is important you rest, recover and it is nice for the gaffer to have the squad depth to choose from.
“He made five changes tonight and it hasn’t altered us. Credit to the boys playing and those not playing, keeping themselves fit and fresh and working hard in training every day. It is a group effort and we are going to need everyone this year if we are going to be successful and win games. It is really important.”