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Heading back to a Manchester United squad lacking confidenceand characteris going to do little for Harry Maguire’s bid to play his way back into form, says Roy Keane.
Questions have been asked of Maguire’s displays for United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have stumbled out of the blocks and eroded much of the optimism that they built up last season.
The 27-year-old has also found the going tough when away with England and collected a reckless red card on his most recent outing for the Three Lions against Denmark.
Former Red Devils captain Keane feels England manager Gareth Southgate should have been doing more to protect a clearly out-of-sorts performer before sending him into UEFA Nations League battle.
“I think sometimes he Gareth knows Harry has had a tough time on and off the pitch, a pat on the back would have helped him,” Keane told ITV Sport.“That would have settled him from Gareth.”
With no spark found on international duty, Maguire must now return to Old Trafford and endeavour to breathe new life into faltering United.
Keane thinks that is going to be a big askgiven the issues the Red Devils have, with a man desperate to turn his fortunes around warned that things may get worse before they get better.
“The only down side is for Maguire, he's going back to a team not full of confidence,” Keane added.“I've been in situations before when I was in a situation with brilliant characters, I felt the dressing room was the best in the world. He's not going to get that, in that back four.
“I wouldn't be anywhere near those lads - I don't see them as leaders.”
While Keane fears for Maguire, England boss Southgate has backed him as an important part of his plans to come.
He has said: “Knowing Harry as I do, he'll want to play football.
“The best place for him to be is on the pitch. We know he's happy for everybody to have an opinion on what he should be doing. That's life as a top player. If nobody's interested, your life's very straightforward.
“If you're captain of United and a top player for England, everybody has an opinion. You have to ride with that. He's strong enough to deal with it. He's got to show the resilience I know he has to come through that.