Maguire: My qualities as captain

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Last Updated: 17/01/20 7:46pm

Harry Maguire has been appointed as the new captain at Manchester United
Harry Maguire has been appointed as the new captain at Manchester United

In an exclusive interview with Patrick Davison, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire discusses his new role, which will see him lead the side against Liverpool on Renault Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer announced on Friday Maguire would take over the armband from the departing Ashley Young, who has now joined Inter Milan.

It is the first permanent captain’s position for Maguire, who has already led Man Utd on a few occasions since his summer arrival, and says he will learn from others he has played under.

Speaking to Davison ahead of the Renault Super Sunday clash with Liverpool, Maguire said: “It’s a really proud moment for myself and I’m really honoured to be captain of this great club. I’ve worn the armband previous but to be named captain is really special.

Harry Maguire has worn the Man Utd captain's armband already this season
Harry Maguire has worn the Man Utd captain’s armband already this season

“He [the manager] pulled me to one side and told me that if Ashley leaves, I’d be appointed as the next captain. He wished me well and told me to keep doing what I’m doing. I was really proud, it’s such an honour to play for this club, let alone captain it.

“It’s fairly new because I’ve never actually been appointed club captain, but I’ve had some great captains in my time. Michael Dawson at Hull, Wes Morgan at Leicester and then Youngy here. I’ve learnt from some great people who do stuff well off the pitch.”

When quizzed on what makes a great captain, Maguire deduced: “Leading by example and being responsible for your team’s actions on and off the pitch. I’ve had some great captains to look to and learn from and hopefully I can take that and bring it to the club here.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester Utd’s win against Norwich
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester Utd’s win against Norwich

“I’ve been here for five or six months now but it shows great trust from the manager and great confidence in my ability to lead the boys on and off the pitch and I have confidence in the ability to be a success.

“First and foremost, you’ve got to go onto the pitch and lead by example. Then you have responsibilities off the pitch and in the dressing room. As I’ve got older with more experience, I’ve developed more speaking in my game whereas when I was a young boy, I was quite quiet.

“I always looked up to the experienced boys there and seeing how they handled themselves and it’s something I’ve improved as I’ve got older.”

‘No build-up like Liverpool vs Man Utd’

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s draw against Liverpool in October
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United’s draw against Liverpool in October

Maguire’s first task as permanent captain will be to steer his side past a formidable Liverpool team in one of the biggest games of the season, live on Sky Sports.

But Man Utd have been the only side to take Premier League points from the league leaders so far this season, holding Jurgen Klopp’s side to a 1-1 draw in October.

Reflecting on the upcoming encounter, Maguire added: “When you’re playing in the Premier League and you see the rivalry, they’re two big clubs who have had success over the years.

“When they’re fighting at the top for so many trophies like they have been doing, it’s something that builds that rivalry. I’ve felt it since I’ve been here, the rivalry between the two clubs. Sunday is a big game, there’s no doubt about it, and one we’re looking forward to.

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“I remember the game earlier in the season at Old Trafford and the build-up towards it. It was different definitely, there’s been no build up to a league game that I’ve ever felt like that before.

“We go into the game on Sunday looking for three points. We’re not going there to play for a draw and wherever we go, we’re expected to win games because we’re Manchester United. We have confidence in our ability and our team.

“This year we’ve beaten Manchester City at the Etihad, got a point against Liverpool at Old Trafford where we maybe should’ve held on in the dying stages and got all three, but we take confidence from that going into Sunday.

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Steven Gerrard was sent off 38 seconds after coming off the bench as a Juan Mata double gave Manchester United a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in a dramatic encounter at Anfield
Steven Gerrard was sent off 38 seconds after coming off the bench as a Juan Mata double gave Manchester United a 2-1 victory over Liverpool in a dramatic encounter at Anfield

“You don’t want to get caught up too much in it [the rivalry], but you’ve also got to be involved in it. You’ve got to have your chest out, embrace the atmosphere when you come out of the tunnel and go out wanting to perform on the biggest stage.

“That’s what it’s about as a footballer, you want to play in these high pressure, big games and create memories. For me and everyone who goes out on the pitch as Man Utd player, that’s why we try to do.

“I’ve experienced the atmosphere [of Anfield] and no doubt it will be a lot better on Sunday as a Man Utd player. It’s something I embrace, I want to play in the best atmospheres which are as loud as possible. Our fans will be there in numbers and will be signing the whole way through like they do at every away game.

“I can only speak from what I’ve played in and what I’ve watched on TV… But the build-up, the tension, the rivalry, there’s no doubt that this is up there with one of the biggest games in football.”

There will be a few familiar faces in the opposing kit too and Maguire is friendly with some Liverpool players from his previous clubs and England.

Harry Maguire played with Liverpool defender Andy Robertson at Hull City
Harry Maguire played with Liverpool defender Andy Robertson at Hull City

He said: “I was with Robbo [Andy Robertson] when he was at Hull, and I’m really pleased to see how well he’s doing, he’s a great guy.

“Then obviously Trent [Alexander-Arnold], Jordan [Henderson] and Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain], all the England lads. We’ll be friends off the pitch but come Sunday, we definitely won’t be.

“I won’t be messaging them this week, I’m sure they’ll be preparing for the game just like we are. I’ll speak to them after the game, no doubt, but it’s a big game and there’ll be no friendly messages going around this week.”

Follow Liverpool vs Man Utd across Sky Sports

Liverpool vs Manchester United is live on Super Sunday from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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Source : Sky Sports