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Harry Maguire rates competition for places as vital to Man Utd trophy hopes

SoccerNews in English Premier League 21 Jan 2023

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Harry Maguire believes the growing competition for places at Manchester United is a recipe for success, despite seeing his own game time limited this season.

The Red Devils captain has endured a frustrating campaign, having started only seven matches, and just two in the Premier League since August.

Despite playing the full 90 minutes of United’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth, the England defender appeared only as a late substitute during the recent derby win over Manchester City, while he was unused in the midweek draw with Crystal Palace.

Erik ten Hag’s side headed into this weekend sitting third in the Premier League and eight points behind leaders Arsenal, who they face in a blockbuster clash at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

United then play Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup semi-finals before taking on Reading in the FA Cup fourth round, while an eagerly anticipated Europa League showdown with Barcelona is also on the horizon.

Maguire insists squad rotation is and will continue to be crucial as the club bid to be successful, and potentially end their six-year wait for major silverware, having last triumphed in the 2016-17 Europa League under Jose Mourinho.

“I think subs throughout our season have been really important,” Maguire told United Daily. “They’ve scored some crucial goals, players have come on and had a big impact in the game. So, we know it’s a squad game.

“Obviously, everyone wants to start and everyone’s disappointed when they don’t start the games, but that’s the way it should be because we’re all footballers.

“We’re all competitive, we want to play football, but we’ve also got to be ready when we’re called upon.

“I think our fixture list from now until the end of the season is relentless, not much break, not much rest in between games. So, I’m sure fresh legs will be used.

“And I think if you’re going to be a successful squad, it’s so important to have competition for places in each position, and I think we’ve got that in this team now.”

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