Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reckons Harry Maguire is a “true example” of a Manchester United player, and has backed his under-fire captain to bounce back and prove his critics wrong.
The Red Devils have been in terrible form of late, and headed into the latest international break off the back of four defeats in their past six Premier League outings.
Included in those losses was a 5-0 mauling by Liverpool at Old Trafford, a comfortable defeat to rivals City in the Manchester derby and the haemorrhaging of four goals at Leicester – when United were again all over the place at the back.
A number of players have been scrutinised for their lethargic performances, with Maguire bearing the brunt of many supporters frustrations. He’s also received significant criticism from established pundits, namely former captain Roy Keane.
But Solskjaer insisted in his press conference before the trip to Watford that Maguire is not the kind of person to shy away from pressure, and has backed his captain – who he has not once thought of replacing in the role – to build on a couple of bright showings for England.
”As a team we have not performed at the standard we know we can do and the levels we need to be at,” Solskjaer said. ”Harry, as Gary [Neville] rightly said, is not one to hide on the treatment table, or try to find any excuse or sit out games. Harry is a top professional who wants to be there for the manager every single time.
”I think going away and scoring a couple of goals for his country will help his form and his confidence.”
When pressed on the club captaincy, Solskjaer simply replied: “No, I have not considered taking the captain’s armband away from him.”
The Norwegian went on to praise Maguire’s leadership qualities and his levels of professionalism, stating in no uncertain terms that he’s got all the attributes required to be a Manchester United and England player.
”He’s been an absolute stalwart on and off the pitch for us since he came in and he’s been a true leader in all aspects,” he continued. ”We’ve all been very happy with him and we will back him because he is such a top professional. He is going to prove those critics wrong.
”I know the so-called experts have their opinions, and that’s their job to put their opinions across, but that’s not something we have to worry too much about. As a true example of a Man Utd player, Harry is always there for his team and his country.”