Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken passionately about Harry Maguire’s personality and quality, stating everybody at the club is backing him to show his best form.
Our club captain started the opening Premier League matches of the season against Brighton and Brentford before he was replaced in the team by Raphael Varane. The latter has since performed well alongside new signing Lisandro Martinez and helped us to earn four straight top-flight wins.
In a mark of the man’s character, Maguire has remained positive and the 29-year-old is constantly supporting his teammates in every way he can as the squad continues to develop and improve in Ten Hag’s first campaign.
At the start of Friday’s press conference to preview this weekend’s Manchester derby, Ten Hag confirmed Harry is unavailable for selection with an injury he sustained while playing for England against Germany on Monday.
When pressed further on Maguire’s form and the media scrutiny that he has been under, the manager admitted he has spoken to the centre-back personally about how they can rectify the situation.
“First of all of course, I have to coach him, I have to back him,” Ten Hag told journalists at Carrington.
“But I back him because I believe in him and in the period I have worked with him, pre-season was good. I would say he was really good in training and in games.
“Then he falls out [of the team], but that is also to do with the good performances of the centre-backs I am playing now. But I can see qualities and even after not being in the team, he has played really well.
“More importantly the quality was really there and you can see in his career, he is almost on 50 caps for England, and already with Leicester and United, he has performed really well.
“What you see is a high potential. Then it is about him. The players in the dressing room, the coaches, the manager, we all believe in him and now it is about him. That is what I told him. I am sure he can do it and he will turn this around, I am really convinced of that.”
To finish the press conference, Ten Hag was asked about players’ mental health in the modern game and how clubs can help them to deal with online commentary.
“It is an aspect of top football and it is an aspect of our work,” replied the manager. “So we set conditions for that as manager and we also have experts around to help, to coach the players, the team in the right direction.
“I think he [Harry] is doing quite well but every player has room for improvement. If he believes in his skills, he will be quickly back on the level and even more than he did. Once again, I am convinced of that because I have seen his capabilities and it is really high.”