HARRY Maguire, the Sheffield United defender, has revealed why another League One promotion battle holds no fears for Bramall Lane’s young players, writes James Shield.
Maguire, who completed a century of senior starts when Leyton Orient visited South Yorkshire in midweek, was speaking ahead of tomorrow’s fixture at Oldham Athletic which could see Danny Wilson’s side stretch their unbeaten record to six games.
Wilson has made no attempt to conceal his belief that experienced names, such as Barry Robson, Neill Collins and Michael Doyle, will prove invaluable as United attempt to negotiate safe passage through the phalanx of teams vying for a place in the Championship next season.
But Maguire, who reached that personal milestone despite only making his debut 23 months ago, told The Star: “There’s always pressure playing for Sheffield United but that doesn’t scare anyone here.
“Those of us who have come through the ranks have always been around it. We’ve grown up with it. It’s always been there.
“The psychological aspect is going to be important now so I think being used to that pressure means we’ve got an advantage.”
“In any case,” Maguire added. “You’d much rather be going out in front of 18,000 people expecting you to do something than 2,000 who don’t.”
The reaction to Tuesday’s goalless draw with Orient, which provoked rumblings of discontent from sections of the home crowd, illustrated perfectly the standards to which last season’s play-off finalists must adhere. However, with fellow contenders Swindon Town, Yeovil and AFC Bournemouth suffering surprise defeats, Wilson’s prediction their rivals for a top two finish could prove less equipped to post consistent results appears prescient.
While United’s inability to beat Orient was undoubtedly frustrating neither, in truth, was it a catastrophic failure. They head to Boundary Park second in the table and having taken 13 points from their last five outings.
“It’s going to be the tiny details that decide this,” Maguire, aged 19, said. “So we’ll work on those.”