Harry Maguire has admitted he “wants to start more games” and is keen to reclaim his place in Erik ten Hag’s XI at Manchester United.
The Red Devils secured their place in the last eight with a 5-1 aggregate win over Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.
Maguire, who has slipped behind first-choice centre-backs Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in Ten Hag’s pecking order, led the team to a clean sheet in his sixth start since the turn of the year but made it clear he hopes for more.
“I work hard at the training ground and that’s all you can do,” he told BT Sport after the game.
“You can work hard in training, I put everything into training. We have good coaches at this club and they did really good training sessions for us the day after the games.
Harry Maguire wants to start more games and is aiming to be United’s first-choice defender
Maguire led the team to a goal in their 5-1 Europa League win over Real Betis
“Listen, it hasn’t been long since my last game, I think it’s been a couple of weeks, I’ve started five, six, seven since the World Cup.
“Obviously I want to play more, I want to start more games, but I play my role on and off the field.
“It’s nice to be out there, leading the team and getting the win, which is the most important thing for me and the club.
“I have an important role at this club on and off the pitch and every day I try to lead this club to success whether I’m playing or not.”
Former United midfielder-turned-pundit Paul Scholes praised the way Maguire had treated himself and said the defender, who will feature for England in the forthcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers after he was selected in Gareth Southgate’s squad would benefit his club.
“Harry is in a difficult position not playing games but I think his attitude there with the interview stating: ‘It doesn’t matter if I play or not, it’s my job to make sure I keep the club as successful as possible,” Scholes said.
“I think that also guarantees him in the English situation. It’s a good thing. It’s also good for Man Utd that he’s going away and getting a couple of games which only bodes well for Manchester United.
Maguire has made 23 appearances for United this season but his starts have been limited due to the form of Varane and Martinez.
United will find out their opponents in the Europa League quarter-finals in Friday’s draw.
Paul Scholes praised Harry Maguire’s attitude and said he would be happy to get minutes for England