Manchester United’s unbeaten run of 11 games has coincided with the impressive improvement in their defence. Harry Maguire has been an ever present figure in the United backline, often paired with Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly.
Maguire and Bailly have started five of United’s last seven games in all competitions, keeping three clean sheets in the process. The duo are expected to start in the top of the table clash against Liverpool later today.
Having recovered from his injury, Eric Bailly is enjoying his best run in the side since his arrival at Manchester United. Maguire praised Bailly’s form, but insisted the collective work at United has helped them improve. Speaking to reporters, Maguire said “With Eric, he’s back and playing really well since he’s been free of injury and we have formed a really good partnership. It’s a nice partnership that has blossomed over the last month.”
“It’s a great position to be in because we have three top centre backs, because there’s Victor as well – and Axel Tuanzebe is pushing as well. That can only push you to perform even better.”
Maguire and Bailly have put in some vital tackles and blocks off late to help United in some dangerous situations, and the England international believes his experience from League One days has helped him. The United defender added “As a centre back the first thing you have to do is really love defending. I played in League One, so you’re learning about heading, blocking, tackling and the rest in a really tough environment.”
“That teaches you to be tough. The main thing isn’t about stepping out from the back and knocking long diagonal balls to people – it’s about keeping the ball out of your own net.”
On United’s trip to Anfield
Manchester United head to Anfield to take on the reigning champions Liverpool with a three-point lead at the top of the table. Liverpool seem to be under pressure to get a result from the fixture after picking up just 2 points from their last three games.
Maguire feels playing any game for United is always accompanied by pressure. The defender added “Playing for Manchester United and playing with no pressure don’t come in the same sentence. We’re the biggest club in the world, and whatever anyone says on the outside, we go into every game not only wanting to win, but expected and expecting to win.”
“That’s the mentality you have to have in this dressing room – winning at all costs. It’s something we have changed round, we’ve made that the environment we’re in now.“
“We put bigger pressure on ourselves than anyone else can do – not just to win games, but to win things.”
“We will have a long conversation before the kick off, but I’ll keep what I will be telling them to myself until then. But it’s not about any battle speech – it’s about your mentality.“
“Of course it will be tough to go there and get a result, it’s never going to be anything else. But we are confidence, we are Manchester United, and we know we can win any game whoever we play.“