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Harry Maguire sends a tough message to Erik ten Hag over the lack of game-time

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has made it clear that he does not want to be a regular bench warmer after FA Cup win over Reading.

Maguire was paired up with Victor Lindelof as United beat Reading 3-1 to advance to the next round of the tournament.

He told ITV (via Manchester Evening News) that he does not want to get used to his bit-part role in the first team.

He said: “I’m a player, 29 years old, and I haven’t really been in this position in my career so it’s a position that I don’t want to get used to, but it’s part of the parcel of football. 

“I’m working hard every day, I’m pushing, I’m training well, and when my chance comes I need to take it.

“We know at this club we need competition for places, we have some top centre-backs at this club so I think we’re all good from now until the end of the season.

“I feel like I’ve looked after myself – I think it’s two-and-a-half weeks since my last start – so I’ve been working hard in training.

“The lads who’ve been playing have been doing well so when I get the opportunity I need to take it and make sure we win. It was nice to be out there helping the lads and I’m ready when my chance comes.”

Harry Maguire is no longer a guaranteed starter under Erik ten hag

If a team has two World Cup-winning centre-backs, they will be starting together more often than not. 

Unfortunately for Maguire, he has Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in front of him, who have been phenomenal as a pair.

The England international had a solid World Cup campaign but was forced to miss the next few games due to illness and suspension. 

During this time, Luke Shaw showed his class as a centre-back and kept his place until he was sidelined due to an illness.

On the positive side, Maguire had a great outing tonight. He won the majority of his duels, maintained a high line of defence and was elegant with his ball distribution. 

He still needs to eradicate his habit of taking time before he passes the ball as it hinders United’s idea of playing with pace and urgency.