Maguire: Man Utd have got to win trophies

By Sports Desk February 10, 2021

Manchester United's players must demand success of each other in order to win their first silverware under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to captain Harry Maguire. 

Solskjaer's side advanced through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Tuesday, recording a 1-0 extra-time win over West Ham thanks to Scott McTominay's strike. 

It was the Scotland international's seventh goal in 30 appearances for the club this season - as many as he managed in 84 outings in previous campaigns. 

United also have a Europa League last-32 tie with Real Sociedad to come later this month and are five points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League, albeit having played a game more. 

After reaching the semi-finals of three competitions last season, as well as losing at the same stage to City in the EFL Cup last month, Maguire is determined to get over the line this time around. 

"Last season, it was disappointing to lose in the semi-finals like we did, but we've got to win trophies," he told MUTV. 

"We've got to demand that of each other. We do. We demand that we win trophies and it's vital the team starts winning trophies, for the club and the fans as well."

United's clean sheet against West Ham was their sixth in 10 matches and Maguire felt his side were good value for the win at Old Trafford. 

"We got there in the end and we deserved it," he said. "We felt comfortable on the pitch.  

"I felt in the first half we played with intensity and dominated the game, played the game in their half and had chances where we should be one, two, three up." 

Victory for United was the ideal response to Saturday's 3-3 league draw with Everton, a defensive display Maguire concedes cannot be repeated. 

"When we've conceded, we've conceded too many - when we concede one it seems to be two. It was three against Everton. That's not good enough for this club,” he said. 

"We were disappointed at the weekend. We felt we deserved the three points but we couldn't feel sorry for ourselves.  

"We knew we had to come here tonight and bounce back and get that momentum back on our side ready for Sunday [against West Brom]." 

The Red Devils have won their last nine FA Cup matches at Old Trafford - their joint-longest home winning run in the competition, equalling their nine in a row between 1908 and 1912. Maguire is hoping they will get to play at their own ground again when the draw for the last eight is made on Thursday. 

"Yes, of course. We love playing at this ground, and we've got to make it tough for people to come here and get results," he said.  

"We need to get better and we seem to have improved a little of late. But no, obviously, we want a home game. 

"We fancy our chances against anyone. We just need to look after ourselves, perform well and assure that we start winning trophies at this club."

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    A 77th-minute strike from United's Brazil international clinched a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace as Rangnick took charge from the dugout for the first time.

    The former Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig boss watched from the stand when United beat Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday, and it was a first day in the frontline for the German on Sunday.

    Among a plethora of likely match-winners, Fred was way down the list, but it was his stylish strike, with his unfavoured right foot, that saw off Patrick Vieira's Eagles.

    Fred's deep-lying midfield role has been frequently cited by United observers as a weak point in their team, but on this occasion he was a hero. He has scored twice in 12 Premier League matches this season, as many as he managed in 76 appearances across his first three campaigns in the competition.

    Rangnick said: "I think everybody loves Fred. You have to love Fred. I've got to know him for only two days now but he's a sunshine."

    A United training session on Saturday had to be brief due to grotty Manchester weather, reducing Rangnick's already limited opportunity to work on the pitch with his new players.

    The 63-year-old still managed to piece together a tactical plan that just about paid off, with United pressing heavily at times and showing a subtle change in shape, Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes given fresh instructions.

    Rangnick made the point in his Friday news conference that a priority would be to keep the opposition away from United's penalty area, and he felt his players came good on following that instruction.

    The outcome means United have lost just two of their 25 Premier League matches against Palace (W18 D5), keeping a clean sheet in their last two league games against the Eagles.

    In an interview on United's official website, Rangnick said: "Obviously it was about keeping them away from our goal, keeping them consistently under pressure and chasing balls and winning balls.

    "We decided to go for a slightly different formation but only slightly different. We played with two strikers, Marcus and Cristiano up front with Jadon and Bruno on the 10 position and for the rest of the team it was the same position as usual. I just thought it might be better to have control in the centre of the pitch with Cristiano having a partner up front and I think it worked out well."

    United nudged up to sixth place in the Premier League and have taken seven points from three games since being thrashed 4-1 at Watford, the result from which there was no coming back for former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    Rangnick added: "In quite a few games I saw on TV and also against Arsenal, we were a bit shaky in certain times of the game but today we had the feeling that we controlled the game."

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    United looked set to be held to a frustrating and goalless Premier League draw until Fred picked out the far corner of the net with a sweet right-footed strike after 77 minutes at Old Trafford on Sunday.

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    Questions have been asked over whether Ronaldo would put in the sort of shift Rangnick will expect off the ball, but the German doffed his cap to the prolific forward as he delivered his verdict on United's performance.

    "I am very happy with the way the team performed, especially the first half-hour, with the pressing, it was exceptional. The only thing missing was the 1-0 or 2-0," Rangnick told the BBC's Match of the Day.

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