England national team coach Gareth Southgate has defended Harry Maguire after the centre-back made two blunders that led to goals in the 3-3 Nations League draw against Germany on Monday.
Maguire clumsily fouled Jamal Musiala for Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty before losing possession for Kai Havertz’ brilliant goal that doubled Germany’s advantage on the night.
Despite the errors, Southgate backed the player, saying there are many positives to take from his performances in Monday’s encounter and the 1-0 loss in Italy on Friday.
The defender, who has lost his first XI place at Manchester United this season under new boss Erik ten Hag, played full minutes in both games.
“I know everyone will focus on Harry, but there were some very important moments that Harry delivered during the two matches,” the England boss said, as cited by the Mirror.
Southgate compared the Maguire’s situation with that of his Old Trafford teammate Luke Shaw.
“Luke Shaw was another example of somebody [who delivered moments], he’s 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 we 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.”
Meanwhile, Southgate is expected to name his 26-man squad for Qatar 2022 on October 20, which will be well before FIFA’s deadline of Sunday November 13.