England’s Harry Maguire says the reaction from the Scotland fans in Tuesday friendly at Hampden Park was just a “little bit of banter” and he “can deal with it”. Scottish fans mocked the Manchester United defender, ironically applauding his passes, with Maguire going on to score an own goal in England’s 3-1 win.
“It pretty much takes the pressure away from my team-mates and puts it all on myself,” Maguire said. “It makes them play better, for sure.” England boss Gareth Southgate condemned the “ridiculous treatment” of Maguire after the game, saying the criticism the defender has faced is “a joke”. Maguire was a key part of the England teams that reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final – and was United captain after an £80m move from Leicester.
But a downturn in form has seen the 30-year-old lose his starting place at Old Trafford and the Red Devils captaincy. He remains a regular for England – and was only a half-time substitute at Hampden Park because Southgate rotated his team for a friendly. Maguire has received much criticism in the press and on social media, leading to him being booed by his own fans for both England – in 2022 friendlies against the Ivory Coast and Germany – and United – in pre-season friendlies abroad last summer and again this year.
Southgate said he had no complaints with the Scottish fans, as the opposition team, mocking Maguire but added it was a “consequence of ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time”. On the Glasgow game, Maguire said: “It is a little bit of banter and it is a hostile environment, coming away to Scotland. “We knew coming here, when you hear the national anthem and the way they disrespect that, we knew it would be hostile and in the second half I got most of it.
“I am happy to go with that, don’t worry about that.”