Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says out-of-form Harry Maguire must play

‘The only way you can get out of these situations is to play’: Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says out-of-form Harry Maguire must start when Man United head to St James’ Park and believes England defender is just going through a ‘blip’

  • Manchester United make the trip to Newcastle United on Saturday evening
  • All eyes will be on the teamsheet to see if troubled defender Maguire starts
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted the England defender may be carrying an injury
  • But, if fit, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says Maguire needs to start the match
  • Bruce knows Maguire well having signed him for Hull City back in 2014
  • And he insists Maguire is simply going through a temporary patch of bad form  

Steven Bruce says he would allow Harry Maguire to play his way out of his troubled period if he was manager of Manchester United.

The Newcastle boss knows the under-fire United captain better than most having signed him for Hull City from Sheffield United in 2014.

Bruce comes up against Maguire at St James’ Park on Saturday evening, where all eyes will be on the teamsheet to see if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer includes his £80million centre-back after a difficult week in which he was sent off for England.

Harry Maguire’s troubled start to the season continued with a red card for England last week 

The Manchester United captain has looked out of sorts during a nightmare start to the season 

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, who signed Maguire when at Hull, believes he has to play

There has been some suggestion that Solskjaer could take the 27-year-old out of the firing line and he claimed on Friday that the player had a ‘knock’.

But Bruce – himself a former United captain and centre-back – believes that, if fit, Maguire should play.

‘He’s your captain. The only way you can get out of these situations, when things are against you, is to play,’ he said when asked what he would do.

‘I know the type of person Harry is, a genuinely good pro and good lad. It’s the first time in four or five years he’s had a bit of a blip. He’s had a wonderful rise, from Hull to Leicester to captain of Man United.

Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will consider resting Maguire against Newcastle

Maguire pictured during Man United’s last visit to St James’ Park – a 1-0 defeat last season

‘But the one thing you need to do is encourage him, and keep playing him. That way, he can play his way out of it. He needs a steady weekend to get him up and running again. Because underneath of all of it, you never lose your ability.’

Bruce, though, agrees that the last thing any out-of-form defender needs right now is Newcastle forward Allan Saint-Maximin running at them, especially not on the back of him landing a bumper pay rise and new six-year contract this week.

‘Whoever he is playing against, when he is right and he is good, he is a handful for anyone,’ said Bruce.

Bruce signed Maguire from Sheffield United when he was manager of Hull City in 2014

Maguire will not relish the prospect of speedster Allan Saint-Maximin running at him

‘We’ve seen what Allan can do, just look at Burnley (3-1 win two weeks ago). Only he can score the type of goal he did, he sent four of them the wrong way. His natural ability is quite remarkable.

‘Let’s hope it’s his day again. He’s full of the joys of spring at the moment and so he should be after committing himself to the club for the next six years, which we’re delighted about.

‘He’s got a nice new pay deal and couldn’t be happier.’

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