Rio Ferdinand has urged Harry Maguire to be ‘mentally strong’ to handle his current situation for both club and country after making another high-profile error for England in their 3-3 draw with Germany.
The Manchester United captain has lost his place in Erik ten Hag’s starting XI this season but retains faith in Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, who opted for central defense against both Italy and Germany.
But Maguire was back in the limelight on Monday night, gifting Germany their opening goal after some disastrous seconds at the start of the second half.
The 29-year-old sent the ball straight to Jamal Musiala on the edge of his own area and then hacked down the Bayern Munich youngster in the area, where the referee awarded a spot-kick after consulting VAR.
Maguire also lost possession high up the pitch before Germany’s second goal, although there was little anyone could do about Kai Havertz’s brilliant finish.
With the likes of Fikayo Tomori not in the squad and Marc Guehi not even called up for the latest round of internationals, Maguire’s place in the team continues to be questioned – especially after another high-profile mistake.
With the United captain missing a regular run of games for his club to play themselves back into form, Ferdinand is hugely sympathetic to his situation and feels Maguire will have to use all his mental toughness to come through to WC in November.
“I feel for Harry, every mistake is punished and scrutinized,” Ferdinand wrote on Twitter after Maguire conceded the penalty. “However, that comes with the territory.
‘He has to be strong mentally to get through this! Playing without games at this level always gives you openness.’
Maguire wasn’t the only player to make a costly error against Germany, with Nick Pope – filling in for the injured Jordan Pickford – spilling a tame long-range shot into the path of Havertz for the visitors’ late equaliser.
“It’s a mistake and obviously he’ll be down, but the team has to be together and we’ve been doing that all week,” Southgate said when asked about his goalkeeper’s mistake.
‘Tonight, at the end of the day, a couple of mistakes cost us the goals, but I want to focus on the fact that they played with tremendous spirit and showed a belief that we haven’t shown in the last few games. I thought the crowd saw that and rose to it.’
MORE : Harry Maguire aims to win Manchester United spot after being ousted by Erik ten Hag
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