Man Utd 3-1 West Ham: Harry Maguire praised by Erik ten Hag as hosts reach FA Cup quarter-finals

Harry Maguire
England defender Harry Maguire captained Manchester United in their FA Cup victory over West Ham

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised club captain Harry Maguire’s “really high” skill level and revealed he had shown the defender videos in an attempt to improve his performance.

Maguire was back in the side after not starting in the 2-0 Carabao Cup final win over Newcastle at Wembley.

“He had some really good moments, he had a good performance,” said Ten Hag.

“He took the initiative in and out of possession, he was demanding the ball, I have to give him coaching and instructions.

“I showed him a video [of his performances and of other players] on how to outplay opponents and how to have more of an impact. His skills are really high – for a centre-back he has so many skills and he has to use that.”

Maguire, who turns 30 on Sunday, 5 March, has only started five Premier League games this season, despite being a regular in England’s team at both Euro 2020 and last winter’s World Cup.

Former United captain Roy Keane, speaking on ITV, felt Maguire has to have a strong end to the season to save his Old Trafford career.

“It was a big night for Harry, any mistake he makes will be highlighted,” added Keane. “He is playing for his future at the moment as he has a big summer coming up.

“I have been very hard on him in the past because of the mistakes he makes, but he is a good character.”

Ex-Chelsea and England attacker Joe Cole, also speaking on ITV, added: “There are no worries about his personality.

“Remember the pressure of the World Cup? He won’t want to be third of fourth choice, he will want to stake a claim.

“He might have a big role to play now and [to] the end of the season.”

United have already won the Carabao Cup, face Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals, play Real Betis in the last 16 of the Europa League and are third in the Premier League.

West Ham led through Said Benrahma’s strike and were 13 minutes away from a memorable win, before an own goal from Nayef Aguerd and late efforts from Alejandro Garnacho and Fred sealed the Red Devils’ comeback.

Ten Hag felt this victory was again a sign of United’s fighting spirit.

He added: “Again the team showed personality, character, never gave up and turned around the game and won.

“It’s very important, a massive performance from our team and where we showed our mentality. We showed we have the character to deal with difficult situations, the team can keep going with energy.

“It’s not about 11 players, the bench can have an impact.

“They believe they can win games and once again they did it and I’m happy with that process. This team does not show panic and can change the dynamic of the game.”

On Argentine teenager Garnacho, who scored United’s second goal in the 90th minute, Ten Hag said: “It was another step for him. I said before the game you have to have an impact as a starter and I think he is capable of that.

“It’s a great skill when you’re fearless and brave. There’s not so many players that can take on a player and dribble – and he has more skills than that. He has a big energy and is fast and can keep on running.”

‘We had a great opportunity and blew it’

David Moyes reacts to defeat against Manchester United
David Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager in 2013

West Ham manager David Moyes was disappointed they failed to overcome his former club and reach the last eight for the first time since 2016.

He said: “We had a great opportunity to get through and blew it. I thought we had a great chance to get through, I really did, but we couldn’t see it through.

“We gave away two ridiculous goals. We had moments when we could’ve got the game and I thought the worst we would get out of the game was extra time.

“Michail Antonio had two one-on-ones with the goalkeeper, they were really big chances. For long periods, 60-70% of it, we had good control of the game.

“I told the players I’m more disappointed we couldn’t get through and we had a great opportunity to knock United out. We didn’t do the basics well enough, some really simple things.”

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