United Briefing: Harry hails his star performer
Harry Maguire has described Scott McTominay’s sensational performance in the thrashing of Leeds United as “one of the best performances I’ve seen”.
The Reds midfielder set Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men on the way to a hugely memorable 6-2 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday with two quickfire goals in the opening three minutes of the match.
Here, our skipper reflects on a brilliant win which lifted us to third in the table and he reserves special praise for our overwhelming Man of the Match.
“You’ve seen in recent months how we’ve been relying on the forward lads in Rash and Bruno, so for Scott to score was great. He was magnificent – one of the best performances I’ve seen and played with on the pitch from a central midfielder,” declares Maguire. “He deserved his two goals and it’s nice for Victor to get on the scoresheet as well, it’s something we’ve worked on - a great touch from Anto at the front post.
“It’s nice to spread the goals around, we know we’ve got goals in the team and it was a great night for players to get on the scoresheet. But more importantly everyone is happy with the performance, the six goals and the three points.”
The result puts the Reds well in touch with leaders Liverpool, just five points behind with a game in hand, but Maguire insists the players are just focused on picking up points in every game rather than spending too much time looking at results elsewhere or the league standings.
“I think it’s just important to keep winning games and looking after your own points tally. You can get ahead of yourself in terms of looking at other people’s results and you just need to look after yourself,” he says. “If you keep winning games and putting three points on the table then you’ll be there or thereabouts.
"We’re not getting carried as I said. We had a big win [against Leeds] but there is lots of improvement we need to make to make sure we’re challenging at the end of the season. That’s what we’ve got to aim for.
“It’s so open this year,” he adds. “We tend not to look at the table – I couldn’t tell you now where we’re sat in the table. We take each game as it comes. We’re starting to realise more and more as a group how important each game is. If you want to be successful you can’t be dropping points or not performing. Sometimes it’s the performance you have to look after because your performance over the season will eventually get the points that it deserves.
“It’s still early on in the season. I think after three or four games you saw people speaking about how bad our start was and now you hear people saying we’re title challengers. That’s football. We’ve got to deal with that, stick to what we’re doing and keep improving on the training pitch and on the pitch, and see where it takes us. For sure, it was a great win for us against Leeds, but we’ve got another great game coming up and one we’re looking forward to.”
Next up for the Reds is a Carabao Cup quarter-final trip to Goodison Park to take on Everton on Wednesday. Maguire says trophies is always what United crave and the players are determined to take a step closer to Wembley this week.
“It’s really important this season that we try and get our hands on silverware and win a trophy,” insists Maguire. “At this club we’re expected to win trophies and we go into this game full of confidence from the result [last weekend]. We’ve got to start winning trophies, we haven’t won in the last two or three years now and it’s important. It’s an important competition for ourselves to build momentum and confidence. It’s an important game and we’re going into it to try and win the game.
“We know how tough it is to go to Goodison and get the victory. We played well that day even though we fell behind like we have done in a lot of our away games. We take confidence from that result and we know if we play to our ability we can go there and win the game.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will sit down with club media for his usual pre-match interview, ahead of the Carabo Cup visit to Goodison.
The boss will be chatting to reporter Mark Sullivan about the game and we'll bring you the latest team news for the quarter-final clash. Look out for updates around 13:30 GMT today.
We'll also have some exclusive photos and footage of the players training at the Aon Training Complex - keep an eye out for those later this morning.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
If you've not listened to the Marcus Rashford UTD Podcast already, then stop everything you are doing this instant and go listen! There are some incredible stories to be heard from our inspirational no.10, including more on the night he first fell in love with football.
Everyone at the club was extremely saddened to hear of the passing of former Red John Fitzpatrick. You can read our tribute to him here.
We also learned of the new date for the Carabo Cup final - get all the details on the rescheduled showpiece now.