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'I believe in him' - Stones claims Maguire's England World Cup form is perfect tonic to Man Utd struggles

9:47 AM GMT 03/12/2022
Harry Maguire England 2022
John Stones has praised the mentality of his England defensive partner Harry Maguire as he proves his worth for England at the World Cup.
  • Maguire had poor start to season at Man Utd
  • Has started 3/3 World Cup games for England
  • Only conceded one goal while on pitch

WHAT HAPPENED? Maguire has had a far from ideal start to the season. He was dropped by Erik ten Hag after a string of poor performances and has seen his play time limited for Manchester United, but he has turned that form on its head for England. He has looked imperious at the back for the Three Lions and his defensive partner Stones has been full of praise for him ahead of England's round of 16 clash with Senegal.

WHAT HE SAID: When asked about Maguire in a press conference, Stones said: “Right from the first game, the best response is what he’s been doing. All three games he’s played in have been terrific and it’s about us finding that partnership again. I think we have done (that) in these three games.

“That’s a great credit to him. Playing with someone for so many games at England, being through so many moments with him, knowing what he’s been going through at his club as well and the person that he is, I think it speaks volumes about him to come through that and still believe in himself.

"I believe in him, like (how) all the team believes in him. His teammates at United believe in him. He’s come into this tournament and hit the ground running, and that is a great credit to him.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maguire and Stones have played together 14 times at major tournaments since 2018, with England reaching the semi-final and final of the two competitions in that time period. They have shown their versatility, playing in a back five alongside Kyle Walker, as well as in a four-man unit, playing as the two centre-backs. So far in Qatar, the pair have conceded just one goal when on the pitch together.


Stones and Maguire have formed a formidable partnership at centre-back for England

WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND? The pair are almost certain to start for England against Senegal as Gareth Southgate looks to guide the team deep into the knockout stages of another tournament.