"It's been tough" - Harry Maguire explains why Manchester United pre-season under Erik ten Hag is hard

Harry Maguire is in Australia for Manchester United's pre-season tour.
Harry Maguire is in Australia for Manchester United's pre-season tour.

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has claimed that the club's ongoing pre-season tour under head coach Erik ten Hag has been quite challenging.

The Red Devils started their preparations ahead of the upcoming season with a friendly against Liverpool in Thailand on July 12. Ten Hag's side emerged victorious 4-0 against their traditional rivals with goals coming from Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellestri.

Thank you for the amazing welcome to Bangkok, appreciate all the support. Straight into a great team session to kick off #MUTOUR22. ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ”ด #mufcman

Manchester United maintained their momentum against Melbourne Victory by registering a dominant 4-1 win in Melbourne on July 15. Maguire started the friendly and got his first taste of pre-season action under his new boss. He, as quoted by Tribal Football, said:

"รt has been tough. The running has been hard but we are really looking forward to the season. Erik and his coaching staff are bringing their ideas, and the first two games you have seen little glimpses of the principles."

The 29-year-old added:

"We are working towards being ready for that first Premier League game, that's what matters. Everything we are doing now is building for that first game."

Earlier, Ten Hag confirmed that Maguire will continue to be the club's captain for the upcoming season. He said, as quoted by Manchester Evening News:

"Harry Maguire is the captain. He is an established captain, he has achieved a lot of success, so I don't doubt this issue."

Maguire came under severe fire on several occasions in the last campaign for his below-par performances. During the 2021-22 season, he helped his team register just seven clean sheets in 37 appearances.

Manchester United will next take on Crystal Palace on July 19 and Aston Villa four days later during their ongoing tour of Australia. The Red Devils will open their 2022-23 Premier league campaign at home on August 6 against Brighton Hove & Albion.

You were great hosts, Melbourne ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บWe can't wait to see you at the MCG again on Tuesday ๐Ÿ‘#MUFC || #MUTOUR22

Noel Whelan claims Raphael Varane will be frozen out at Manchester United

Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has opined that Raphael Varane will be demoted to a bit-part role at Old Trafford next season. He said:

"Yeah, absolutely [Varane will be on the bench]. Martinez is a left-sided centre-back, so the only way Varane fits into that side now is if Ten Hag chooses to play a five-man defence."

He continued:

"We do know they are trying to get rid of Eric Bailly, so that will free up a space in that defence. Martinez is a good move. It seems like a good buy to me โ€“ and for good money as well."

Earlier, Manchester United reached an agreement with Ajax for centre-back Lisandro Martinez in a deal worth up to โ‚ฌ55 million (via Fabrizio Romano).

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Edited by Aranya Chaudhury
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