Manchester United Captain Harry Maguire says the team must stick together as they battle to avert a disappointing season that is spiraling after they left the Champions League with Atletico Madrid.
Since being knocked out of the race for the Premier League title and domestic cup competitions, the Red Devils’ last hope of ending their five-year title drought came to an end overnight. Tuesday.
Three weeks after escaping Spain with a well-deserved 1-1 draw in the first leg of this Champions League round of 16, United stumbled at home as Renan Lodi’s header sealed the win. -0 for Atletico.
David De Gea lamented “another bad year” for a club currently fighting for a top-four finish – an uphill battle with Arsenal in last place with games in the hands of United.
The Gunners could be seven points ahead of Ralf Rangnick’s team when they return to action next month and captain Maguire says they must keep fighting together.
“This is going to be a disappointing couple of weeks, of course,” he said as Atleti fans continued to sing long after the final whistle at Old Trafford.
“The players need to go, rest but let’s make sure we are back fighting until the end of the season.
“We have nine important Premier League games that we need to try to win every game we’re in, stick together.
“My job as captain obviously has a big part to play in that too and making sure we stick together and finish the season strong – because we owe it to the fans.”
United won’t return to action until hosting Leicester on April 2 and the intermission is sure to be one of nasty criticism and introspective glances at those in the dressing room. .
There has also been speculation about unrest within the team, with some players questioning whether Maguire should continue as captain as he has struggled with form all season.
Last week, Rangnick denied such rumors, and Maguire also agreed when assessing the loss to Atletico.
“There is no problem in the dressing room,” Maguire insisted after the 0-1 defeat. “When you play for this club, there are always reports and a lot of media attention.
“It has nothing to do with the outcome.”
Maguire was sarcastically cheered by the home fans as he was substituted at the end of Tuesday’s loss to Atletico, whose experience and bravery were evident as they simultaneously brought down and down opponents. .
“I think the style is in Europe, that’s not for me to really comment,” the defender told beIN Sports. “But, yeah, I think every time you touch someone, it’s a foul.
“I mean Anthony (Elanga) headed in the first few minutes. The ball goes over the bar, the keeper can come and collide with him and he fouls, so it’s a different style.
“I think – as a team – we might have to learn from it, have to grow from it and not lose our discipline.
“I felt that in the last 20 to 30 minutes we should have pressed and created a bit more but we were so frustrated we started to lose form and lose momentum in the game.
“It’s something we need to learn from but it was a difficult night tonight because the players were frustrated.”
Rangnick expressed frustration with refereeing referee Slavko Vincic after the game as well as captain Maguire, who flagged a possible foul on Elanga before Atleti scored.
“I can’t say for sure because I haven’t looked at it yet,” he said. “I will look at it again.
“In real time it looked like he was fouled maybe the first time, then he went past the second man and then he looked like he was fouled.
“Then I thought, the referrer looked like he was going to make a mistake, he looked around, looked at wed (official), looked at his assistant, looked for someone to help him and in the end they didn’t give the foul.
“Listen, the decisions didn’t go away tonight but we had enough time in the game to try to come back and score and equalize and we didn’t do that.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/champions-league/weve-got-to-stick-together-harry-maguire-plays-down-dressing-room-split-as-he-tries-to-rally-man-united-41453472.html ‘We have to stick together’ – Harry Maguire plays dressing room divider as he tries to focus Man United