Maguire says Man Utd must go to next level after clinching Champions League place

By Sports Desk July 26, 2020

Harry Maguire vowed reaching the Champions League was only the start for this Manchester United team as the captain said standards must continue to rise.

A 2-0 win at Leicester City, Maguire's former club, on the final day of the Premier League season meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team finished in third position.

That had seemed a highly unlikely prospect at the start of the year, but the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in January transformed United's season.

Maguire pointed to that as a big factor in United's improvement, as he celebrated victory at the King Power Stadium.

"As a club we expect to be in the Champions League but the last few years have been tough," Maguire told Sky Sports.

"At the start of the season, the majority of people probably didn't expect us to be in the top four at the end of the season. We always had great faith in ourselves."

He added: "Next season we've got to keep improving."

Maguire said United had been "far too inconsistent, dropping silly points" early in the campaign.

"Performances weren't good enough in parts of the games and we were getting punished," said the England defender. "We've been a lot better of late and to come from the position we were in shows the great character that we've got in this group."

Maguire was asked what had changed about United, allowing them to surge up the table.

"It's hard to say. Obviously bringing Bruno in in January has made a big difference. He put us 1-0 up today," Maguire said.

Fernandes slotted a penalty home in the 71st minute, with Jesse Lingard sealing the points in stoppage time.

"Big players turn up in big moments," Maguire said. "It was a nervy, edgy game but we deserved the three points."

Leicester sat third when the Premier League resumed after its three-month suspension, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

They fell away badly and finished fifth, and Maguire had sympathy for his old club, now led by Brendan Rodgers.

"To finish fifth in the Premier League for this club is a huge achievement – a great set of players and a great manager," Maguire said. "I'm sure they'll have a bright future."

Related items

  • PSG's Mbappe wants to represent France at Tokyo Olympics PSG's Mbappe wants to represent France at Tokyo Olympics

    Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe said he is dreaming of playing for France at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

    Mbappe and world champions France are preparing for the rescheduled Euro 2020, which gets underway next month.

    As Didier Deschamps' Les Bleus eye European glory, Mbappe also wants to represent his country at the Tokyo Games, starting in July.

    "For us, having recognition from the whole country is very important," the 22-year-old Mbappe told TF1.

    "Everyone knows that my dream has always been to take part at the Olympic Games and I hope I will be able to realise one of my lifelong dreams."

    France have been drawn alongside hosts Japan, Mexico and South Africa in Group A at the Olympics.

    Led by Under-21 boss Sylvain Ripoll at the Olympics, France are scheduled to open their campaign against Mexico on July 22.

    On his short-term objections, Mbappe said: "The objective is always the same - to try to win the Euros to bring happiness to the French people.

    "We have a team which is capable of competing for it. We always want to win. If we do win it, it will bring a great deal of joy.

    "We are going to prepare well for the tournament with the hope of going far. We will be trying to bring the trophy back to France."

     

  • Guardiola refuses to be drawn on Kane speculation amid Man City links Guardiola refuses to be drawn on Kane speculation amid Man City links

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn on speculation linking the Premier League champions with Tottenham star Harry Kane.

    Kane has reportedly told Tottenham he wants to leave, sparking apparent interest from City, neighbours Manchester United and Chelsea.

    Speaking after City's 3-2 Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, Guardiola declined to fuel the rumours.

    "Next question," Guardiola said during his post-match news conference. "He's a Tottenham Hotspurs player. Please."

    Kane's future is unclear given his ambition to win trophies which has been unfulfilled at boyhood club Spurs.

    City are in the market for a new forward with free agent Sergio Aguero exiting this off-season, although the club have also been linked with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

    Meanwhile, Guardiola insisted he was not concerned by City's recent form ahead of the Champions League final against Premier League rivals Chelsea on May 29.

    Guardiola's City have lost two of their past three matches, conceding eight goals in the process.

    City have lost six Premier League games having led by two or more goals – only Tottenham (eight) have suffered more such defeats in the competition's history.

    Against Brighton, City's possession figure was just 37 per cent, the lowest recorded by a side managed by Guardiola in a single top-flight match.

    "On Sunday, with our people, we are going to lift the trophy," Guardiola said. "And after we are going to go for the final of the Champions League.

    "I am concerned because this is the final of the Champions League, because the opponent is so tough. I saw incredible things today in the pitch with 11 against 10 for 80 minutes in the Premier League.

    "We are fortunate to lift the [Premier League] trophy and we did it ourselves. Nobody gave us absolutely anything; nothing.

    "That's why I am so proud of the team; it means how difficult is the Premier League again, and now we're going to prepare as best as possible for the final of the Champions League."

  • Barca 'cycle has finished' as Laporta eyes 'renovation' Barca 'cycle has finished' as Laporta eyes 'renovation'

    Barcelona president Joan Laporta said a cycle has finished for the LaLiga giants and he wants to "carry out a renovation" after an underwhelming 2020-21 campaign.

    Barca have fallen off the pace late in the LaLiga title race and will likely finish third in Ronald Koeman's first season as head coach at Camp Nou.

    Koeman's Barca lifted the Copa del Rey title last month but crashed out of the Champions League in the round of 16 at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.

    Laporta, who assumed office for his second tenure as Barca president in March, said he is seeking an off-season shake-up amid links with Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Manchester City star Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia, and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum.

    "A cycle has finished and we are working to carry out a renovation," Laporta said at the Festa de l'Esport Catala

    "We have been eliminated from the Champions League very early and the league has been lost in an incomprehensible way.

    "I'm talking about the end of the cycle and renewal because that's what I think needs to be done.

    "Starting next week we are going to make a series of decisions and at that time we will comment.

    "Now what we have to do is work hard and effectively to have a very competitive team to win the Champions League and to win the league.

    "I already said that when the season is over, I would evaluate the results, the game, the attitude, the mentality and the ambition."

    Barcelona last won LaLiga in 2018-19 while they have only reached the Champions League semi-finals once since last lifting the European crown in 2015.

    Barca's 2020-21 last-16 exit was their worst Champions League result since the 2006-07 season.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.