MANCHESTER UNITED captain Harry Maguire has defended himself after a string of below-par outings this campaign.
The 29-year-old has come under fire for his performances this season, and was even booed by fans while on England duty last month.
Maguire has insisted he would have been dropped if his performances levels were that badCredit: Getty
However the centre-back insisted he has retained his position in the starting side on merit.
Maguire claimed a severe drop in form for Manchester United would have seen him dropped to the bench.
He added: “But I wouldn’t be playing every game for Manchester United in the starting eleven if I’d been playing bad every game or not playing well enough.
“There’s a reason why both managers have put me in the starting eleven every game, for what I bring to the team [and] what I bring to the starting eleven.
“But I do also understand that I’m the captain of this club, I cost a lot of money, and when things aren’t going well and we’re conceding too many goals I’m going to get criticised.”
The Red Devils head into tonight’s mouthwatering clash against Liverpool fifth in the Premier League table – three points off Tottenham in fourth.
Speaking on the season as a whole, Maguire suggested: “It’s not been good enough.
“There’s been far too many games where we haven’t performed well enough, and we’re where we are in the league because we deserve to be there.”
Maguire did not shy from criticising himself, but suggested the team as a whole has also been at fault for the much too frequent poor showings on the pitch.
He said: “I look at myself individually but I think it’s more of a collective.
“Individuals, of course we have good players at this club, but good players don’t make a good team. And I think this season’s proved that.”
The England defender claimed this campaign has been the toughest of his career to date, but securing a Champions League berth would be a reason for “pride”.
He concluded: “We’ve had a tough season. But I think if we finish fourth I think it just gives us that little bit of pride.
“And for me the most important thing is getting the pride back in performances that gives us every opportunity to win games.”