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Euro 2020 semi-final: Harry Maguire: ‘I never feared for England international career’ under Gareth Southgate

Harry Maguire has praised Gareth Southgate for sticking by him after his arrest and conviction for a brawl in Greece last summer.

Southgate kept the Manchester United central defender in his squad even after his arrest in Mykonos last August, following an appeal that could take years to be resolved after his initial conviction, and then when he was sent off in October during England’s 1-0 defeat to Denmark.

Maguire said: “I never feared for my international career. Without getting into too much detail of what went off last summer, I knew where I stood in regards to that.

“I always knew what went off. I’m totally over it. It was a tough time, for sure, but I’ve moved on.

“Gareth’s support of me has been brilliant since I made my debut for England. Ever since, when I’ve been available, I’ve pretty much played in every game possible. That gives me great confidence, belief and trust.

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Every time I step onto the pitch I’m trying to repay the faith and the trust.

“I’ve had lots of conversations, lots of texts, lots of phone calls from Gareth. And then speaking to him when I’ve come into camp he’s always there to help.

“It’s impossible to go through a career without having bad moments and making mistakes. Gareth passes on his experiences and the way he handles things and I’m always open to learning and improving.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Gareth and what he has done for me personally and the trust and faith he has put in me.”

Discussing his red card against Denmark, he said: “It was a challenging time but I am proud of the way I handled it and came through it.

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“But four days before that game we had just beaten the no.1 ranked team in the world, Belgium, and I played 90 minutes and had a big part to play in that game.

“My touch was perhaps a bit off (against Denmark) – it was definitely off for the second booking I got. When I was walking off the pitch, of course I felt low. I felt like I was letting my team down.

“But mistakes happen and you bounce back and I am proud of the way I have handled myself from then on.

“It was important that I came back strong and performed well for Manchester United. I ended up scoring in a victory against Newcastle in our next match.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Maguire confirmed he wanted Southgate to stay on as manager beyond his current deal that runs out in 2022.

Maguire confirmed: “Yes, of course. I can only speak on behalf of myself but I’m sure everyone as well is so happy in terms of coming to the England camps and the way that he has made it so enjoyable for everyone.”

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