Harry Maguire flies to Gdansk for Europa League final as Man Utd captain admits legends' criticism has sapped confidence

MANCHESTER UNITED captain Harry Maguire says criticism from pundits annoys him.

The Red Devils star made the revelation in an interview with Sky pundit Gary Neville ahead of Wednesday's Europa League final, and it comes after Roy Keane laid into him last year.


Maguire has been one of United's best players this season but he has come in for criticism on occasion since he signed from Leicester.

And he revealed sometimes words from former players do cut through, as he fights a losing battle to be fit for Wednesday's clash with Villarreal.

Speaking on the Overlap podcast, Neville asked Maguire if criticism annoys Man Utd's players.

And the England star said: "Yeah I think it does, I'm not going to sit here and lie. But I think you've got to come to an agreement that it's opinions, everyone has an opinion.

"Of course everyone wants to hear people speak about them doing well and everything's nice but that's not life, that's not football, you've got to accept that.

"I think it can change confidence in players, especially the ones that listen to it more than others.

"Because you're a big part of the game now. You analyse things, every goal that we concede you analyse.

"I think it can affect confidence but what I would say is that when you do, you don't just speak negative about players, you also speak positive so I think as a footballer you've got to expect that."

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Former United captain Keane singled out Maguire for particular criticism after the Red Devils conceded early against Tottenham in June.

The Irishman said on Sky: "Maguire and (David) De Gea, I wouldn't let them on the bus after the match. Shocking.

"I'm disgusted with it. Maguire, De Gea you should hang your heads in shame."

Maguire was also laid into by former Birmingham and Blackburn midfielder Robbie Savage during United's 6-1 thrashing by Spurs four months later.

The Welshman told BT Sport: "Harry Maguire – a Manchester United captain? Seriously?

"He's a good player but a Manchester United captain? It was schoolboy defending and there was little to no desire."

Irrespective of criticism from pundits, United fans will be delighted that Maguire, 28, has been included in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's 26-man travelling party for the Europa League final.

The Red Devils skipper has flown to Gdansk and is doing everything he can to be fit and available for his first final as captain.

I spoke to Manchester City and I spoke to Manchester United but I must say, I’ve grown up watching Manchester United teams

But it's likely that the match will come just too soon for the crocked ace.

While he is focusing his energy on trying to be fit to play in the Europa League final – he easily could have been playing in a different competition this week… for rivals City.

He revealed: “I spoke to Manchester City and I spoke to Manchester United but I must say, I’ve grown up watching Manchester United teams.

“Old Trafford, one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest. So I always had my heart set on this club.”

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