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Stuart Pearce hits back at Harry Maguire

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Stuart Pearce hits back at Harry Maguire
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Stuart Pearce has defended Harry Maguire after his poor performance in England’s 3-3 draw with Germany on Monday evening.

Following the 1-0 defeat to Italy last Friday, the Manchester United captain kept his place in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for Germany’s visit to Wembley.

But Maguire had a night to forget as he gave away the penalty which allowed Germany to take the lead, while he lost possession in the build up to Kai Havertz’s goal which doubled Germany’s lead.

However, Pearce, who was capped 78 times by England, is impressed by Maguire’s mentality and believes the 29-year-old is someone who ‘you want to go to battle with’.

‘I think the kid has got character,’ Pearce told talkSPORT.

‘He has been under the microscope a fair bit for the last calendar year, potentially, I don’t know how long, I am not a social media buff.

‘Still, he puts himself out there, and he keeps going, and he does not go under.

‘He has an injury late in the game, and he is at the halfway line going through a German player. Not to let his teammates down.

‘Sometimes, they are the individuals you want to go to battle with.’

Meanwhile, Southgate insists Maguire still has a strong chance of keeping his place for England’s World Cup campaign, even if he struggles to secure more playing time at Manchester United before the tournament in Qatar begins.

‘That’s always going to be a challenge, especially regarding how much football they’ve had,’ Southgate said.

‘I know everyone will focus on Harry, but there were some very important moments Harry delivered during the two matches.

‘Luke was another example of someone who is an outstanding footballer, so what do we do? Not pick Luke Shaw because he’s not playing enough football or do we pick a player who can do what you saw tonight?

‘That’s always going to raise debate, but I think in these moments we’ve got to back our best and our most experienced players, unless we’re in a situation where it’s almost untenable and impossible to pick them.’


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