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Manchester United: Erik ten Hag tells Harry Maguire it’s down to HIM to silence the boo boys

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says it is up to Harry Maguire to silence the boo boys and prove his worth by performing well during the 2022-2023 season.

Maguire, who has retained the United captaincy under the Dutch manager, was booed by supporters when the Red Devils defeated Crystal Palace at the MCG in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

Concerns have been raised that the 29-year-old defender could become a target after he was booed by England fans at Wembley in March.

Man United manager Erik ten Hag says it's up to Harry Maguire to silence the boo boys

Man United manager Erik ten Hag says it’s up to Harry Maguire to silence the boo boys

Maguire (left) was booed as he led the team to Manchester United's pre-season match with Crystal Palace at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday

Maguire (left) was booed as he led the team to Manchester United’s pre-season match with Crystal Palace at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday

But after deciding to keep Maguire as club captain this season, Ten Hag has supported his skipper to get through a difficult period in his career if he performs well.

The way the crowd treated Maguire seemed to calm down in Melbourne in the second half and Ten Hag said: “We’ve heard it but you see, when you perform it slows down. I think the team and Harry Maguire were impressed with the way we are playing.

“I don’t think this is the way to find out if I understand. It’s about how we can change it. So it’s the team and Harry himself by performing. That’s what we’re working on, that’s the only focus.’

Maguire was booed every time he touched the ball at the start of Tuesday's friendly

Maguire was booed every time he touched the ball at the start of Tuesday’s friendly

Ten Hag has supported him to get through a difficult period in his career if he performs well

Ten Hag has supported him to get through a difficult period in his career if he performs well

Maguire will lead United in Saturday’s final touring game against Aston Villa in Perth, while Ten Hag’s side look set to sign off with a fourth win in a row.

“We have the intention to play brilliant football, just one thing: we have an opponent every time – and they are not cooperating,” added the United boss.

‘So it’s about our philosophy first. We want to play proactive football, attacking football. I know tomorrow’s opponent will be tough – it’s a great test. In that sense, Perth is really lucky.”

Tuesday’s game against Crystal Palace was not the first time Maguire had to deal with booing. He has also experienced the same frosty reception while playing on the international stage.

Maguire was booed by some English fans during their friendly against Ivory Coast in March

Maguire was booed by some English fans during their friendly against Ivory Coast in March

The England supporter decided to scold the centre-back during his first few touches

The England supporter decided to scold the centre-back during his first few touches

Maguire was booed before and during England’s 3-0 win over Ivory Coast in March. Some of the Three Lions fans hooted the defender’s name as it was read out before the game at Wembley.

They continued to boo the Manchester United captain as he took his first few touches of the game.

England manager Gareth Southgate was furious with the country’s fans and jumped into Maguire’s defense after their win.

He said, ‘I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke. The way he has performed for us has been absolutely phenomenal. I do not get it. We’re all in this together or we’re not.

“He’s wearing an England shirt and not only do you have to support a player in an England shirt, but if you’ve played at the level he has for us and the performance he’s put in it would put total dedication behind him I don’t get it at all.

England boss Southgate slammed the reception Maguire received in their 3-0 win

England boss Southgate slammed the reception Maguire received in their 3-0 win

His performance was actually quite flawless. He got out really well from behind for the first goal, was also involved in the second. So yes. The team is fully united. We recognize that everyone has difficult moments, but he is a top player and he will get through it.

“They are real England fans and some are influenced by anything – social media or players who have played before and are influencing opinion. The club situation is obviously very difficult, but he is wearing an England shirt.

“I remember decades ago a few players were booed in an England shirt and that was never acceptable to me. Fans should always stand behind their team.”

Donny van de Beek also praised Maguire for the way he dealt with the boos on Tuesday – with his ‘great personality’ he was able to shake off the criticism.

Donny van de Beek heard the yelling on Tuesday but thought Maguire played well

Donny van de Beek heard the yelling on Tuesday but thought Maguire played well

Van de Beek said: ‘Hey [Maguire] was aggressive, he got so many balls so that means he has a big personality. He has a lot of experience, so I think that’s positive what he does [showed]his performance today.’

The fan’s decision to scold Maguire came as a result of the defender’s scorching 2021-22 season. The England international anchored a United defense who scored 57 goals in the Premier League last season, four more than Burnley, who were relegated.

That led some fans to call for Maguire to be stripped of the captaincy. However, Ten Hag decided to stay with the English defender.

As a result, fans have decided to vent their thoughts by booing the 29-year-old before and during their pre-season games.

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