Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has offered his backing to Harry Maguire after his midweek sending off for England.
That first half red card at Wembley compounded a tricky start to the season for Maguire, after off-field problems in pre-season.
But Solskjaer praised his captain’s resilience while adding he picked up a slight injury on international duty.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference on the official club app at 10am on 16/10, Solskjaer said: “Football is very very… you’re in the highlights all the time.
“When Harry is part of the England team which beats number one ranked Belgium, it’s a normal day.
“You get the headlines when you get a sending off, that’s just football. Harry has got great resilience, knows he’ll bounce back, wants to play and work his way out of the last couple of games he’s been criticised.
“He picked up a knock just before he came off. We had a look at him yesterday and we will give him a test today.”
Maguire was visibly struggling with a knock on Wednesday night, but it might just be that talking up slight injury is the best way forward right now.
That would get him out of the firing line but without the barrage of scrutiny that dropping a fit Maguire would bring.
Former United defender Rio Ferdinand has spoken to the Independent about a time in his career when he struggled like Maguire.
He says all it took was one game out of the side in order to reflect, before setting about getting his confidence up again.
“When you’re taken out of the firing line, you get time to sit back and actually analyse yourself,” said Ferdinand.
“Sometimes just taking yourself out of the firing line for one game. I got brought off in one game, the manager said ‘get yourself back to basics, train well and you’ll come back in’.
“In these situations – that I’ve been in as well, you sometimes need to be taken out of the oven.”
It’s clear that Maguire needs a break. Asking him to play through injury and a severe loss of confidence doesn’t look the best approach from Solskjaer right now.
That said, Solskjaer says Maguire wants to play himself out of this slump, so he’s got a big decision to make, unless his captain’s ‘knock’ takes the call out of his hands.
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