Paul Ince insists Man Utd team-mates are contributing to Harry Maguire’s struggles

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire has endured a tricky season at Manchester United (Picture: Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Paul Ince insists Harry Maguire would be a better player if he had more protection from his Manchester United team-mates in midfield.

The England international has come in for criticism this season with his performances well below par as United have struggled to keep clean sheets.

But former Red Devil Ince feels he needs more help from the players in front of him to avoid leaving him exposed in the heart of United’s defence.

‘The thing with Harry Maguire is he is not the quickest,’ Ince told the Daily Mail.

‘He’s not a bad player, everyone loses form and regains form. Harry Maguire is going through a period now where everything he does he is making mistakes and it is getting magnified.

‘For me, it’s not just Harry Maguire, it’s the midfield. He gets absolutely no protection. If I am playing in midfield with Roy Keane, Harry Maguire does not get isolated like he does at Man United.

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire needs more protection in midfield, says Paul Ince (Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

‘The last thing you want is have someone like [Armando] Broja who is strong and quick against Harry Maguire, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got midfield players around Harry Maguire to protect him and help him out.

‘The amount of times where Steve Bruce wasn’t the quickest but I’d come across or Keane or Gary Pallister, because we knew.

‘For so many teams it is so easy to get through United, and that’s why we are seeing Maguire getting punished so much because he has no protection whatsoever.’

Despite criticism from fans and pundits, Maguire received a public vote of confidence from manager Ralf Rangnick in the lead up to Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.

‘I think he had an outstanding game against West Ham, like all the rest of our back line,’ Rangnick said.

‘Against Middlesbrough we didn’t give away that many chances to the other team.

‘[Against Burnley] When Weghorst got the ball we were two versus one, it was Harry and Scotty against him, and of course we shouldn’t allow him to go through that in that very moment.

‘Harry was injured. He had a two, two and a half weeks’ injury and then came back and had a very good game against West Ham.’

United sit fifth in the Premier League table, one point adrift of fourth-placed West Ham.

MORE : Graham Potter defends Ralf Rangnick’s Manchester United record and compares Cristiano Ronaldo to Neal Maupay

MORE : Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick is ‘out of his depth’, claims Danny Murphy

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