"Haven't really been in this position" - Manchester United captain Harry Maguire sends clear message to Ten Hag about his lack of game time 

Harry Maguire on his lack of game time at Manchester United
Harry Maguire on his lack of game time at Manchester United

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire spoke about his lack of game time under Erik ten Hag this season after their FA Cup win over Reading on January 28.

The Red Devils came out 3-1 winners at Old Trafford in the fourth round of the competition. Casmiro's brace and a goal by Fred were enough to secure a comfortable passage into the fifth round for the Premier League giants.

Reading scored through Amadou Salif Mbengue while Andy Carroll was sent off after picking up two yellow cards.

Maguire, 29, made only his eighth start of the season in all competitions for Manchester United. Ten Hag has preferred the centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez this season.

After the win over Reading, Maguire spoke about his lack of game time, as he said (via The Mirror):

"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."

He added:

"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."

The Englishman admitted that Manchester United have good competition for places but stressed that he is working hard to try to reclaim his position. He said:

"I’m working hard every day, I’m pushing, I’m training well, and when my chance comes I need to take it. We know at this club we need competition for places, we have some top centre-backs at this club so I think we’re all good from now until the end of the season."

Maguire has made 15 appearances this season across competitions for Manchester United.

Harry Maguire's stats at Manchester United

The Red Devils spent a world-record fee for a defender when they signed Maguire from Leicester City for £80 million in 2019. He has since made 159 appearances for the club and has also contributed seven goals and five assists.

However, the centre-back has come under immense criticism since the beginning of last season. His error-laden and nervy performances were a big part of Manchester United accumulating their smallest-ever points tally (58) in the Premier League last season.

The England international will need to find his form back soon if he is to break into the first team under Ten Hag.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava