Ole: Maguire 'positive' about playing in final

Sunday 16 May 2021 13:58

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has vowed to give injured defender Harry Maguire as much time as possible to make the UEFA Europa League final.

The Manchester United captain twisted his ankle in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa earlier this month, and has not featured in any of the Reds' subsequent fixtures.

But with 10 days remaining until the final against Villarreal on 26 May, the manager says the centre-back is optimistic about his chances of making it onto the pitch in Gdansk.
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Marking Maguire’s milestone

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“He's making progress,” said Solskjaer. “When I spoke to him this morning he was quite positive but, naturally, the day after it happened we were all down. We saw early on or we decided that we have to focus, have to be positive, and think that you're gonna make it until you have to say 'no'. I've always been an optimist, so we're positive.

“But we've consciously taken the route of not testing him out too early, too quickly, because we don't want to aggravate something. He wants this so much, so he doesn't want to take any risks, either.”
Ole admitted that he hoped for good news as soon as possible, but added that Maguire's influential status means that he will be given as long as necessary to prove his fitness.

“Hopefully we can have good news early, but I'll give Harry as long as it takes,” he explained, “because of course he has shown his importance.

“But hopefully he'll speed up the recovery and be ready for the final, but I'll give him as long as he needs, until he says 'yes' or 'no'.”
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United have been beaten in both of our games since the match in which Maguire was injured, and the manager said his skipper's importance over the last two seasons had often been overlooked.

“We've known it [his importance] all along, of course. But maybe some people open their eyes when he's not playing! I certainly felt I became a very, very good player when I was injured. People suddenly realised what I could do as a sub, or as a player," explained Ole.

“Harry's been our leader, he's a captain. Ever since he's come in he's been more or less ever-present, so of course he's a big miss at the moment.”