Harry Maguire: Man Utd are on the up but there is much more work to do

PA

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire insists there is plenty of improvement to be made before the club gets to where it wants to be.

Sunday’s goalless draw at Anfield ensured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remained top of the Premier League heading into the midweek round of matches, holding a two-point advantage over Manchester City, who have a match in hand.

But despite their position at the top, having extended their unbeaten league run to 12 matches and their away record to 16 without defeat – one short of their Premier League record from September 1999 – Maguire feels there is still more to come.

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“We haven’t spoken about that, it doesn’t matter after 18 games it just matters about the points tally we have accumulated since last season,” he told MUTV.

“You can see how much we have improved since I’ve been here, a year and a half.

“As a team we are on the up but there is loads of improvement we need to make, and make a lot more progress to get to where we want to be.

“We wanted to win the game but we keep the momentum going of not losing, especially away from home.”

While they could not secure their first win at Anfield in five years or end Liverpool’s unbeaten home league run of 68 matches, United were the first side to keep a clean sheet on the ground since Manchester City in October 2018.

That was testament to their defensive organisation, particularly in the first half when they were content to hold their position, wait for a mistake and counter-attack as their hosts dominated.

A year ago United were comfortably beaten 2-0 at the same venue, even though they enjoyed more possession than at the weekend.

“Last time we played here we didn’t have any confidence or momentum,” added Maguire.

“The first half felt like we didn’t play well, we felt we could have been brave and hurt them a bit more.

“We didn’t play with belief and courage and I felt the second half was much more like ourselves.

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“We are improving but we still need to do better with and without the ball.

“It was a big defensive display. Not just from the defenders and the goalkeeper, it was the midfielders, the forwards.

“They covered us and we looked solid. We didn’t give them a big chance. It was a great defensive display.

“It’s important, whoever plays in the back four knows the team, knows their responsibilities and keep keeping clean sheets as that gives us the best opportunity of going on to win the games.”

Solskjaer feels the next step for his side is to start taking the game to their main rivals.

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Despite their position at the top United have failed to win against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, City and Tottenham this season.

“I think it showed throughout the game that the belief grew,” the manager said.

“Next time we play them here, or after this experience, we need to impose ourselves on the game.

“Not take a few more risks but we can do better and that is a good feeling to have that I know we can do better; keep trying to do the right things even though you might make the odd mistake.”