Harry Maguire has not had the best start to life since being named Manchester United permanent captain.
£80 million summer signing Maguire has been on the wrong end of two defeats, a 2-0 loss at Anfield and a 2-0 home embarrassment by Burnley.
The summer signing now has more spotlight on him than ever, and as Gary Neville warned him last week, the scrutiny will increase.
Neville wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations! The s*** will come thick and fast in the next year or two. Stick at it as you are the captain of the biggest club in the world and it will rise and win again.”
That is the message Maguire needs to re-read again after the defeats he has suffered this week. He has to stick at it and not let the pain of defeat get to him.
His individual display was criticised after the Burnley defeat by ex-Red Rio Ferdinand on BT Sport [The Mail reported], proving Neville’s assessment correct already.
United need a winner
Maguire is uncertain to play at the weekend against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup.
United could look to rotate options at centre-back and bring in Eric Bailly, who is available after a long-term injury.
So this will mean Maguire’s next two matches would be against Manchester City away in the Carabao Cup and then Wolves at home in the Premier League.
Both of these are tough matches which it is easy to see United failing to win.
Maguire needs to find a way to drag United over the line in one of them. He could make his captaincy an instant success. United just need a winner wearing the armband.
The good news is we have seen Maguire do it before. He wore United’s captain’s armband 10 times prior to the Liverpool game.
Six of these games were victories for United, and included the 2-1 win in the Carabao Cup at Stamford Bridge.
But now he has been made permanent captain, there is a new kind of spotlight, which focuses on him when United lose.
Getting that first victory is essential. And if that means he should play against Tranmere to get a win under his belt to lift his confidence, so be it.
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