Harry Maguire

Maguire: Losing isn't acceptable at this club

Harry Maguire admitted he and his Manchester United team-mates were “devastated” after exiting the Europa League at the semi-final stage, following a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla.

The Reds took an early lead in Cologne thanks to a penalty from Bruno Fernandes, but the Spaniards hit back with goals from Suso and Luuk de Jong, either side of a deluge of United chances while the game was locked at 1-1.

The skipper was adamant that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team were the better side on the night, but added that a lack of composure at both ends of the field had let the side down.

Watch Ole's post-match press conferenceVideo

“It's difficult [to take]. The boys are devastated in there,” Maguire told BT Sport. “We created numerous amounts of chances. We've got to win the game. The best team lost and they punished us for missing the chances. We've been ruthless at times this year, but today we weren't.

“It means a lot to us. The boys are devastated. We've got a good group of lads. We know what it means to play for this club: losing isn't acceptable. Getting to semi-finals isn't acceptable. We've got to now really concentrate on taking it further, taking another step.”
United made a blistering start to both halves, and had 20 shots to Sevilla’s nine, but a superb performance from the Andalusians’ goalkeeper, Bono, kept the opposing team in it.

The importance of that became clear when substitute de Jong tapped home a simple chance to put the five-time UEFA Cup / Europa League winners ahead with just over 10 minutes remaining.

“We started with the high press, and we scored, and then we maybe let them out a bit too easy and let them have a bit too much possession for our liking,”
rued Maguire.
“They didn't create many chances if we're being honest.

“[For their winner] it's a ball in our box – obviously they've worked it well down the right. But we've got to do better. We'll look it and we've got to improve. We conceded from two crosses – it's not good enough. But we worked our socks off out there. We deserved to win the game and we deserved to go through. But ultimately we've fallen short at a semi-final for the third time this year, so it's disappointing.”

However, the captain was encouraged by much of our performance, particularly in possession, and thinks it’s a matter of time before he and his team-mates can lift some silverware.

“The improvement we've made this year is massive. We've played a good Sevilla team and we've dominated the game,” he continued. “On another day we win the game comfortably and everyone goes on about how well we've played.

“There are areas where we can improve; we know that, and we need to get better. We've finished third in the Premier League and people will say it's a good season, but do we want to finish third next season? No. For sure, it will happen soon [winning a trophy]. We want to win one as soon as possible. You've seen the talent on the pitch; how we've improved throughout the season.”

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Maguire hopes the agony of elimination in three semi-finals can spur the team on next season, and noted that the performance in Cologne had been far superior to the FA Cup defeat to Chelsea and the Carabao Cup exit to Manchester City.
 
“It's disappointing. We want to win silverware,”
lamented the 27-year-old, who played the 55th game of his debut campaign with the Reds.
“Obviously, in the Carabao Cup we were disappointed to lose the game, and in the FA Cup we didn't turn up. 
 
“But tonight we turned up, we deserved to win the game, and maybe that little bit of experience cost us in the end. Even though we were on top and creating chances, we shouldn't concede that second goal.”
 

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