Erik ten Hag has labelled Harry Maguire a ’great player’ and urged him to block out criticism over 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 against Scotland.
It has been a long-running theme for Maguire, who appears to come under increased scrutiny for every mishap in his game, so much so that family members were forced to release a statement this week condemning the criticism.
United boss Ten Hag has also jumped to the defence of his former captain and gave Maguire some advice on how to overcome the boo-boys.
“I have said many times, it is disrespectful,” the Dutchman said in his press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Brighton.
“[He] doesn’t deserve it, he is a great player, gives great performances. It is crazy how it works. Harry has to block this.”
Ten Hag was then asked how Maguire was coping with the increased attention around his game and told reporters: “Good, you see his career, a lot to come, he has to block it by good performances.”
The United boss also conceded he has a role to play in managing Maguire to ensure he comes through his difficult spell unscathed.
He continued: “It is also with the generation, about team construction, the group dynamic and always about the team, that is above everything else but within that everyone plays his role, different characters and you have to manage those characters.”
Maguire could be named in the stating eleven for Saturday’s visit of Brighton after making just one substitute appearance this season.
The 30-year-old has clocked up just 23 minutes of game time from the opening 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 hope to return to winning ways but face a tough test against the Seagulls who collected all three points at Old Trafford in the same fixture last season.
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