Harry Maguire.

Maguire upset by defensive mishaps in Blades loss

Wednesday 27 January 2021 23:57

Harry Maguire felt Manchester United’s sloppy defending cost us the points as the Reds fell to a 2-1 loss to Sheffield United at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men looked to have got ourselves back into the game midway through the second period, when the skipper headed us onto level terms.

However, Oliver Burke’s deflected winner ensured it was the visitors who travel back to Yorkshire with all three points, something Maguire was clearly furious with after the game.
Maguire: The boys are devastated Video

Maguire: The boys are devastated

Harry says the lads are down, but that now is the time to stand up and be counted...

“Not good enough,” he told club media. “We didn’t perform to a level we’ve been playing at. We didn’t play at an intensity that we’ve played at. We haven’t created enough to win the game.

“We didn’t see it coming; we prepared well and were fully confident. We fell behind to a soft goal, but we felt that we could come back, like we’ve done numerous times this year, and come back and win the game.

“We got ourselves back into the game and we felt like the next goal would be crucial, and we managed to get that, and we just didn’t kick on; we didn’t find that spark. Then from that position, we can’t lose the game. You’ve thrown away a point.

“It’s probably the first time they’ve been in our box in the second half and they managed to score, so we’ve got to look at it and got to improve. For sure, he [Burke] can’t be taking a touch and controlling it and having a shot in our box with no-one around him. It’s not good enough.”
The story of the first half hinged around two refereeing decisions following challenges on both goalkeepers.

While Billy Sharp was not adjudged to have fouled David De Gea from the corner that led to the Blades' opener, Harry was when he jumped with Aaron Ramsdale.

Anthony Martial knocked the ball into the empty goal after referee Peter Bankes had blown for a foul, although subsequent replays showed it was certainly harsh to award a free-kick against the United centre-back.

“It’s incredible,” said Harry. “There’s no doubt that Billy Sharp’s is more of a foul than what I did at the other end.

“Maybe people will say both aren’t fouls, but definitely not David’s is and that one isn’t. I jumped for the ball. I don’t think I actually touched the keeper. I think he just touches me in the back; my arms are nowhere near him. I think the referee will look back and know he’s made a mistake.”
That loss against the Blades was our first in 13 league matches, and Harry feels we just lacked a cutting edge in the final third against his former sides.

“Well, we have great belief,” he said. “At half-time, we knew. We knew we didn’t perform well in the first half, but we had belief that if we scored the next goal, we could go on to win the game.

“We scored the next goal. It was an important goal, and we never found anything extra to push - that little spark or inspiration. Something was missing.

“Like I said, we have to improve, we know that it’s not good enough for this club. We’ve got to win games, especially at Old Trafford, especially to teams who are where they are in the league. But for sure, we’ve got to improve.”