Ten Hag reveals role of video in coaching ‘highly skilled’ Maguire in new Man Utd position
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has explained how training ground work and the use of video is helping Harry Maguire to thrive in his new position.
Maguire has lost his starting spot in the Premier League due to the arrival of Lisandro Martinez, who has forged an impressive centre-back partnership with Raphael Varane.
The England international – who has played in the left centre-back position for much of his career – was deployed on the right against West Ham in United’s 3-1 FA Cup win on Wednesday.
Asked about Maguire’s change of position, Ten Hag explained why it’s “better” for Maguire to play at right centre-back.
“It is my way of playing, or our way, and it is better,” said Ten Hag.
“I prefer to have a player with a lot of initiative [at right centre-back] and when you are left-footed you have better angles [at left centre-back].
“Harry can play on the left but right is obviously much better and today we have seen that.”
Ten Hag was impressed with Maguire’s display and explained the work he and his coaches are doing to help the “highly skilled” 29-year-old to operate and succeed in his new role.
“He had a good performance, he took initiative in and out of possession, and so he was dominating in defence but in offence he had some really good moments. He had good passes, good engagement with opponents and outplaying them. He played a good game.
“How do we help him with that? In training we give him coaching, we give him instructions. But also not that long ago we showed him a video of how to outplay opponents and how he can have more impact in possession in building up because his skills…he is really high-skilled. For a centre-back he has so many skills. He has to use that in a game.”
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Asked after the game what Ten Hag had to say after a turgid first half performance, Maguire told MUTV: “He went fairly strong, to be honest, he knew we had to up it. We knew it, or we’d lose the game.
“To come out as well and for them to score a great goal, although we thought it was out. I know you have to play to the whistle and I’m sure we’ll get a telling-off from the manager, but the last 30 minutes we found something.
“The crowd sucked the ball into the back of the net at the Stretford End. It was a tough game. The first half we weren’t at our best, a bit slow, I don’t know why. Maybe Sunday, with the celebrations, as we lacked a little bit of tempo. We spoke about the game, tonight was all about winning and progressing.
“I must say the last 30 minutes were really good, relentless from the lads and great fight. After having the goal disallowed, we could have dropped our heads and sulked. But it was relentless and three good goals. The second one is a stand-out from Garnacho, so really pleased for him and I’m sure he’s going to score more match-winners in front of the Stretford End.”