Harry Maguire has admitted that his poor form for Manchester United last season was a “setback for my career” but is determined to help the team challenge for trophies again.
United finished in sixth place, 35 points behind Manchester City, and saw their barren spell without silverware extend to six years. Maguire endured the poorest campaign of his three years at Old Trafford but Erik ten Hag, the new manager, has given the England defender a vote of confidence by retaining him as captain.
“Last year was certainly a setback for myself on my career path but it’s behind us now,” Maguire said. “We look forward to the future and getting this club back to winning trophies, which is what it’s all about.
“Last year was disappointing, as an individual I didn’t play well and as a team we certainly didn’t play well. But a good career can last 10 to 15 years and you’re never going to have every year where it’s plain sailing and you don’t have any difficulties. You’re going to have to fight, you’re going to have setbacks.”
Maguire, speaking in Melbourne at a United Australian supporters clubs’ forum during the summer tour, gave his first impressions of working under Ten Hag. “It’s been tough. The running has been hard but we’re really looking forward to the season,” said the 29-year-old. “Everyone – the players, the club – know last year was nowhere near good enough but it’s a fresh start and we’ve got a big season ahead.
“Erik and his coaching staff are bringing their ideas and the first two games you’ve seen little glimpses of the principles. We’re working towards being ready for that first Premier League game, that’s what matters. Everything we’re doing now is building for that first game.”
James Garner, who missed the wins over Liverpool in Bangkok and Melbourne Victory in Australia due to injury hopes to be available for next Saturday’s final match of the trip, against Aston Villa in Perth.