Harry Maguire.

Maguire feeling United's support ahead of big tie

Thursday 08 December 2022 09:34

Harry Maguire says he is feeling the backing of Manchester United as he prepares for England's World Cup quarter-final showdown with France on Saturday night.

The central defender has been in good form in Qatar and, with team-mate Luke Shaw alongside him at left-back, he will be charged with the responsibility of quelling the threat posed by the reigning champions.

There have been text messages of support from the Reds and Maguire believes he is showing the sort of form that earned him a place in the Team of the Tournament at the last European Championship.

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"I’m 29 years old, the captain of Man Utd and have made 52 appearances for my country," he told newspapers from the England camp. "So, when I look back on my career, I put everything into perspective.

“I’m living the dream. I’m doing everything I always wanted to do. So for the next stage of my career, I want to start winning trophies.

"The last year has been difficult and I haven’t played as well as I’ve done in the previous five years at the top level. But during a career, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are probably the only two who’ve not had a dip.

“It’s a 15-year career, if you’re lucky. There’s no way, especially with all the scrutiny that’s on defences these days, you’re not going to have dips. As a player, you want to play. I’ve been used to playing throughout my career.

"This is the first year that I’ve really sat on a bench in a few games. I obviously got an injury as well, a thigh injury that kept me out for four weeks, but I’ll fight to get my place back at United.

"I don’t think that I’ve proved a point out here. I was in the Euros' Team of the Tournament so I know what I’m capable of. I’ve not hid away from the last year. It’s been difficult, but I always knew and had great belief in myself that I’d find my form and regain my confidence and my focus.

“I’m really happy it’s happened at the biggest tournament. Now, I feel in a good place. I feel good mentally, I feel good physically. I feel fresh and I’m just looking forward to a big game on Saturday.”

Maguire has kept in touch with staff at the club, as everybody is proud of how all of our players are performing on the biggest stage.

Although fully focused on the huge task in hand, it will not be long before the skipper is back at Carrington, preparing for the return of domestic football, hopefully after he has appeared in another major final for his country.

“While I am away, they want me to focus fully on England," he said of United. "But I have had a couple of nice texts from them saying how well I’ve performed and congratulations on reaching the quarter-finals. It’s nice.

“I am sure they’ll be watching the games but Erik will be supporting the Oranje army. It is good to feel the support of them.”