Erik ten Hag has defended Harry Maguire over the ‘crazy’ abuse being aimed at the Manchester United and England defender, and challenged him to block it out.
Maguire was back in the firing line in England’s win over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday night, and was mocked by home fans even before he scored an own-goal after coming on as a half-time substitute.
Gareth Southgate blamed it on the unfair criticism Maguire faces from English fans and media, and the 30-year-old’s mother even sprang to his defence with a social media post.
Ten Hag also backed Maguire but insisted that the player has to be able to ignore the abuse as well. ‘I have said many times, it is disrespectful and he doesn’t deserve it,’ said Ten Hag.
‘He is a great player and gives great performances. It’s crazy but it’s how it works and Harry has to block this by performances.
Erik ten Hag has defended Harry Maguire over the ‘crazy’ abuse being aimed at the defender
Maguire was back in the firing line in England’s win over Scotland at Hampden Park on Tuesday
Maguire came on at half-time against Scotland and scored an unfortunate own goal (above)
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‘It’s unjustified when you see his career. It’s a great career and it has a lot to come but he has to block it by good performances.’
Maguire is set to be on the bench again when United play Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday after Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez – who both went off in the defeat at Arsenal a fortnight ago – were passed fit.
However, Raphael Varane and Mason Mount are still not ready to return. ‘No, but both are in a good place and I think shortly for a return,’ said Ten Hag.
United are badly in need of a win after losing two of their first four games. Ten Hag won’t need reminding that Brighton have won three of the last four meetings between the two clubs – including his first game in charge last season when United weer beaten 2-1 at Old Trafford.
‘I love to play them,’ said the Dutchman. ‘It is typical. We had two great games in the spring against them and it was head to head.
‘We know we have to play tomorrow to our best because they will let you sacrifice and suffer because it gives you a lot of options so I’m really looking forward to that fight.’