HARRY MAGUIRE has vowed to repay Gareth Southgate’s faith in him – and help England reach the Euros final on Wednesday night.
The England manager was steadfast in his support for the Manchester United captain after he was arrested on holiday in Mykonos last August – and when he was sent off in the 1-0 Wembley defeat by Denmark in October.
Maguire was convicted by a Greek court but, after an appeal, Southgate recalled him to the England squad, only to see him red-carded after half an hour of a Nations League clash with tomorrow’s opponents.
And 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.
“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.”
Asked about his red card against Denmark, Maguire admitted: “It was a challenging time but I am proud of the way I handled it and came through it.
“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.”
Southgate’s current deal runs until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and Maguire has backed FA chief executive Mark Bullingham’s stance that they want to extend his contract.
Maguire added: “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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