Erik ten Hag has called Harry Maguire a “great player” and urged him to block out criticism of his performances for club and country.
The Manchester United defender came under fire again in midweek after scoring an unfortunate own goal shortly after coming on as a substitute in England’s 3-1 win over Scotland.
It’s a long-standing theme for Maguire, who appears to face increased scrutiny for every incident in his game, so much so that members of his family were forced to issue a statement this week condemning the criticism .
United boss Ten Hag also came to his former captain’s defense and gave Maguire some advice on how to beat the boo-boys.
“I’ve said it many times, it’s disrespectful,” the Dutchman said in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Brighton.
“(He) doesn’t deserve it, he’s a great player, he performs well. It’s crazy how it works. Harry needs to block this.
Ten Hag was then asked how Maguire was coping with the increased attention to his game and told reporters: “Well you see his career, there’s a lot to come, he has to lock it in with good performances. “
The United boss also admitted he had a role to play in managing Maguire to ensure he emerges from this difficult period unscathed.
He continued: “It is also with generation, team building, group dynamics and always the team, it is above all but within which everyone plays their role, different characters and you have to manage these characters.”
Maguire could be named in the XI for the visit of Brighton on Saturday after making just one substitute appearance this season.
The 30-year-old has accumulated just 23 minutes in the first four matches which came in the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal last time out.
However, injuries to defenders Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia could see Maguire make his first start of the season.
United will be hoping to get back to winning ways but face a tough test against the Seagulls who collected all three points at Old Trafford in the same match last season.
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