Harry Maguire Sends Message to Ten Hag After Masterclass vs Reading
- Harry Maguire sent a clear message of intent to Erik Ten Hag after the FA Cup win over Reading
- The England centre back has lost his place in the starting XI in recent weeks
- But a near-flawless performance on Saturday, January 28 put him on the map once again
Harry Maguire has admitted he does not want to be a bench player at Manchester United after an exemplary showing against Reading on Saturday, January 28.
Erik Ten Hag chose to start with the towering centre-back, which was only the third time in 2023 that Maguire was in the starting XI for a United game.
After a solid performance at Old Trafford, however, Maguire spoke after the game with a clear message to Ten Hag that he was willing to fight for his place back in the squad.
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"I feel like I’ve looked after myself - I think it’s two-and-a-half weeks since my last start - so I’ve been working hard in training, the lads who’ve been playing have been doing well so when I get the opportunity I need to take it and make sure we win," Maguire told ITV as per The Mirror.
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"Of course, I’m a player, 29 years old, and I haven’t really been in this position in my career so it’s a position that I don’t want to get used to, but it’s part of the parcel of football,"
Having initially started the season at the heart of United’s defence, Maguire has slowly fallen down the pecking order thanks to a combination of injuries and a dip in form.
Against Reading, Maguire was partnered with Victor Lindelof, with the likes of Lisandro Martinez being given a rest.
Ten Hag explained the decision to start Maguire, saying he was keen on seeing his defender “get back the rhythm” by playing some games.
"I already said yesterday [in the pre-match press conference] he was ill when he returned from the World Cup, otherwise, he should have played a couple of games," Ten Hag said.
How the game went
As far as the game went, it was a Brazilian show as Casemiro scored a brace, including a wonderful strike from outside the box, while Fred’s classy flick in the 67th minute secured the ticket to the next round of the competition.
Reading’s hopes of mounting a comeback were all but ended after Andy Caroll was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Substitute Amadou Mbengue headed in a consolation for Reading but it was too little too late.
Lisandro Martinez leaves two young fans in tears
Sports Brief also reported on the delightful moment United centre-back Lisandro Martinez left two fans in tears after signing their shirt.
The fans had been eagerly waiting on a Manchester United player to pass by, and it just happened to be Martinez.
Soon after they received their signed shirt, the two children, a boy and a girl, could barely contain their emotions as they broke down in tears in what was truly a wholesome moment.