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Harry Maguire believes he still has a crucial role to play at Manchester United despite falling out of favour under Erik ten Hag this season.
Maguire helped United reach the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday, making a rare start as they built on a 4-1 first-leg lead with a 1-0 win at Real Betis in the competition’s last 16.
In the Premier League, Maguire has made just five starts all campaign, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez anchoring Ten Hag’s favoured United backline.
While Maguire’s lack of regular minutes has led to suggestions he may leave Old Trafford at the end of the season, the England defender remains determined to have an impact on and off the pitch.
“I have an important role on and off the field at this club and every day I try and make this club succeed, whether I’m playing or not,” Maguire told BT Sport after Thursday’s win.
“Obviously I want to play and start more games, but I’m playing my part on and off the field. It’s nice to get out there and lead the team, which is the most important part for myself and for the group.”
A professional performance backed by another clean sheet #MUFC || #UEL pic.twitter.com/hKXLLIg8He
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 16, 2023
United have only lost one of their last 15 games across all competitions – a 7-0 Premier League thrashing at Liverpool – and they could yet finish Ten Hag’s first season in charge with multiple pieces of silverware.
Having beaten Newcastle United to lift the EFL Cup last month, United host Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday, looking to reach the last four for an outright record 31st time (Arsenal also 30).
“It’s one last big push for us as a group of players [before the March international break],” Maguire told United’s media channels.
“It’s a big game, an FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford. It’s going to be an unbelievable atmosphere, we know that, and it’s one that we’ve got to prepare for.
“We’ll recover now and make sure we’re ready, and we will be.”