‘It CAN’T continue like this’: Harry Maguire admits he is SICK of Manchester United’s poor form and calls on his team-mates to ‘stay together’ amid their difficult spell… as he insists Ralf Rangnick DOES have the full respect of the dressing room
- Harry Maguire is set to return for Man United’s FA Cup clash with Aston Villa
- The United captain is desperate to pull Ralf Rangnick’s side out of their slump
- He has held private conversations with team-mates and management to do so
- Maguire is adamant that the squad is good enough to win silverware this season
Harry Maguire has said he is ‘sick’ of Manchester United’s poor form because they have a better group of players than last season when they finished runners-up in the Premier League.
Maguire, 28, should return for United’s FA Cup third-round tie against Aston Villa on Sunday with interim manager Ralf Rangnick already under pressure following a defeat against Wolves that left them seventh in the league and 22 points behind leaders Manchester City.
United were considered title challengers after signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in the summer with Daniel James the only senior player to leave permanently and Andreas Pereira and Brandon Williams going out on loan.
Harry Maguire has said he is ‘sick’ of Manchester United’s poor run of form this season
‘We are letting the fans down and have to come out fighting,’ admitted the United captain. ‘This team finished second last year. We’ve a bigger and better squad this year so we have to show the right attitude.
‘We have big players in the team, leaders. I am sick of repeating myself, but it can’t continue like this. We need to go on a proper run, starting Monday.
‘I’ve obviously seen a lot of criticism and a lot of it is absolutely correct. From what the fans and ex-players have said, we get it. A lot of it is justified and we all have to take massive responsibility, myself as captain as much as anyone, if not more. We need to start winning and playing well as a team.’
Maguire said he has had private conversations with his team-mates and management to try to turn the situation around. There have been reports that several of the squad, including Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek, may seek to move after becoming frustrated by a lack of first-team football.
United are languishing 22 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City in seventh
Marcus Rashford and Fred have said they are not unhappy at the club, with Rashford insisting that his loyalty should ‘never be in question’. Rashford took to social media to publicly state that his name should not be dragged into talks of a mutiny.
Rangnick replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November but has been unable so far to change the mood at Old Trafford despite an easier run of fixtures.
There were boos when he took off Mason Greenwood in Monday’s 1-0 defeat by Wolves.
‘The manager has made an impact,’ said Maguire. ‘He is there to set us up tactically which we absolutely take on board. We listen to him and his staff and it’s up to us once the game starts.
‘His detail and preparation is enormous. We have full respect and trust in his methods. It’s difficult when the coaching team changes mid-season like it does at loads of clubs.
But Maguire says Ralf Rangnick has the support of the dressing room and is making an impact
‘I will say it again, it’s down to us as players. The quality and leaders are in the team to ensure we finish the season in the top four and with a trophy.’
Maguire has taken personal flak for his performances this season and admits it was ‘frustrating’ to watch the Wolves game from the sidelines though Phil Jones made an impressive comeback after being out for nearly two years.
Statistics show that United are better when their skipper plays. Their win percentage in the Premier League with Maguire is 53 per cent (47 out of 88) and they have won only one of seven games he’s missed since signing from Leicester in 2019.
Maguire is still waiting for a first trophy. ‘I came here to win trophies,’ he said. ‘I could have signed elsewhere but I wanted to be at United and help get them back to the winning ways. It will come if we all stay together.
‘I grew up idolising the likes of Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic and I want to repeat what they achieved. I am privileged to be captain and I have a responsibility to lead the players and turn things around.’
The United captain has called on his team-mates to ‘stay together’ amid their tough run
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