Maguire warns Man Utd to improve against Sheffield United

Omnisport

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire warned his team-mates they must improve when the Red Devils go head-to-head with Sheffield United in a blockbuster Premier League showdown.

United – fifth in the standings – will welcome seventh-placed Sheffield United to Old Trafford on Wednesday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men two points better off in the race for Champions League qualification.

Maguire and United are two points behind Chelsea, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot after Friday's 1-1 draw at Jose Mourinho's Tottenham.

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United have already faced Sheffield United this season, playing out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane in November following Oli McBurnie's 90th-minute equaliser and Maguire has called for an improved performance.

"It was a crazy game," Maguire, who played for boyhood club Sheffield United between 2011 and 2014, told The United Review. "We were really poor in the first half. No doubt about it, it was one of our poorest first halves of the season.

"We managed to find ourselves two goals down but then got in a great position and looked like we were going to win.

"They didn't really create any chances in the last 20 or 30 minutes of the game and then, obviously with the last kick, they found space and it was a good finish from Oli McBurnie.

"In the end, it was a tough result to take but I don't think we deserved any more on the day than a point. We weren't good enough and know we have to perform better in this game."

The Blades' visit to the Theatre of Dreams will be the first at Old Trafford behind closed doors following the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's disappointing not to play in front of your fans but, one day, they'll be back," said England defender Maguire. "And, when they're back, I am sure the atmosphere is going to be even better and louder than it normally is at Old Trafford – if you can beat that.

"We're going to miss the fans. Home and away, they follow in great numbers and the support is incredible. But we know they're going to be in front of their TV screens, watching us, shouting us along, and the main thing is we want to put smiles back on their faces."

United have gone 12 matches undefeated in all competitions since losing to Burnley in January and Maguire added: "Maybe it does take away the home fans making the atmosphere uncomfortable for the away team, but it's still about the 11 players who turn up on the day.

"There is enough talent in our squad to go and beat anyone. We're fully focused on ourselves and are not looking at it being home or away. We're just seeing every game as a chance to try to get the three points and perform at our best."

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