Sep 14, 2023 at 12:42 Update: 13 minutes ago
Harry Maguire is not particularly impressed with the treatment he received from the Scottish public on Tuesday. The England international was jeered in the friendly at Hampden Park, but is putting a positive spin on it.
“I can’t say that I experience pressure easily,” Maguire told Sky Sports. “I have been through a lot in recent years and I was captain of Manchester United for a while. That comes with a lot of responsibilities. You experience both unpleasant and pleasant things.”
The question is whether Maguire has ever been confronted with what happened to him on Tuesday in Glasgow. The thirty-year-old defender came into the team at half-time of the practice match between Scotland and England (1-3). Moments later he scored an own goal, after which he was jeered by the home fans for the rest of the evening.
“We gave them a goal as a gift,” Maguire reflects. “We knew there would be a hostile atmosphere. And in the second half I got the brunt of it. I’m at peace with that. I’m not worried about it.”
The behavior of the Scottish fans does not come out of nowhere. Maguire has long been the favorite headline of the British media, who regularly describe the defender’s performances with derision. National coach Gareth Southgate decided to stand up for his player on Tuesday.
Maguire is less concerned than his national coach
“I’ve never seen a player treated in such a way,” Southgate said after the friendly. “I can still understand it from the Scottish fans. But that behavior is a consequence of the fact that he has been treated in a ridiculous way for a long time.”
Maguire himself takes it less seriously. “Of course I never get used to receiving criticism, but I can deal with it. It takes pressure off my teammates and places that pressure entirely on my shoulders. My teammates will play better because of it. I am convinced of that.”
In addition, Maguire experienced support from the English fans at Hampden Park. “They see what I have delivered in my 59 international matches. I have played in three major tournaments. There is nothing better than being cheered on by your own fans.”
The international break is now over. Maguire reports back to coach Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United, where he is not exactly sure of his starting place. Maguire is not too worried about that either. “There is a busy period coming up, so I will naturally start playing matches.”
Beeld: Getty Images
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