Harry Maguire responds to critics after ending nightmare week with Man Utd goal

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Harry Maguire bounced back in style as he ended a nightmare week by scoring to set Manchester United on their way to a 4-1 victory at Newcastle.

But the defender admitted he and his Red Devils team-mates had "a long to go" towards silencing their doubters as they bid to improve their form going into a run of huge fixtures.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kept faith with Maguire after he was sent off just 31 minutes into England's defeat to Denmark last Wednesday, with the centre-half having received two yellow cards for clumsy fouls.

His England nightmare followed a poor run of form for the 27-year-old at club level, culminating in United's 6-1 thrashing by Tottenham two weeks ago in which he was far from his best.

Some have suggested his confidence has been affected by his ongoing court battle in Greece, with Maguire appealing against his conviction for aggravated assault, resisting arrest and bribery following a brawl with police in Mykonos over the summer.

Harry Maguire heads home to equalise for United
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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There were calls for the defender to be taken out of the firing line by United boss Solskjaer following his recent problems.

But he repaid his manager's faith in him by cancelling out Luke Shaw's own goal at St James' Park, before Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford secured all three points.

It was United's second win of the Premier League campaign, with Solskjaer's side having lost to Crystal Palace as well as Spurs.

And asked whether his side had answered their critics with the win over Newcastle, Maguire told Sky Sports Box Office: "There's some way going towards that but I wouldn't say we've answered them.

Maguire celebrates his goal with team-mate Dan James
(Image: Stu Forster/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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"It's crazy because we're three games into the season and it seems like a big crisis.

"This is our fourth game of the season. Won two, lost two.

"We've put in two terrible performances – we know we can do a lot better. This club doesn't deserve performances like we've put in at Old Trafford this season.

"We've gone a part of answering our critics but there's still a long way to go.

Bruno Fernandes curls in United's second
(Image: Getty Images)

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"It's a long season, a lot to improve, but we've got the three points tonight."

Maguire was asked whether United's players had asked questions of themselves following their humbling at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and replied: "For sure.

"When you play for this club and you get beaten at home by Crystal Palace and thoroughly deserve to get beaten and play Tottenham and deserve to get beaten, we ask questions.

"We work hard in training, it's a great group. We knew we had to bounce back.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka scored a late third for United
(Image: Owen Humphreys/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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"It was a big game because although we are three games into the season we came here and knew we had to get points on the board.

"I felt it would've been really harsh if we'd just come away with a point, especially having shown great character.

"Because we're under pressure and we've had a lot of criticism, to concede a goal like we did in the first minute is really tough to take.

"Great character shown by the lads and a thoroughly deserved win."

Marcus Rashford made it four in stoppage time
(Image: Getty Images)

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Maguire said United had to refocus on getting the basics right following their two recent defeats, adding: "Every game we play in the Premier League we want to be fighting for the top.

"We can't let games go by where we're not on it and we're not at it.

"There's going to be games where we're not at our best but we've got to do the basics well.

"The previous two games where we got beat we haven't done the basics well enough at all.

"First and foremost to play for this club you've got to do the basics and that should put you in a position to win games."

Rashford celebrates his goal as United now face a run of fixtures that could be pivotal
(Image: PA)

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United now face a run of big games starting with Tuesday's Champions League opener away to Paris-Saint Germain, which is followed by games against Chelsea, RB Leipzig, Arsenal and early Premier league leaders Everton.

Asked whether they'd made the perfect start to that period with the win over Steve Bruce's side, Maguire said: "For sure, it's three points. We knew we needed to get three points, we managed to do so, but we've got a tough run, we know that.

"We start with the Champions League on Tuesday, away to PSG, a great game to be involved in.

"Maybe we can take some momentum from tonight into that and kick-on now."

Finally, Maguire was asked whether there was more to come from United as they target silverware this season.

Fernandes had a penalty saved by Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow
(Image: Offside via Getty Images)

"I'm sure there is, the defender said. "We're still a young team but we don't use that as an excuse.

"Like I say, it's been hard in recent weeks since the start of the new season.

"We finished really well [last season] and expected to go on to big things this year. We put pressure on ourselves and expectations on ourselves as well, so it was disappointing to start as we have done.

"But it was a big performance tonight when we needed it under pressure."

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