TWO months ago, having endured another transfer window stuffed full of rumour and innuendo, Harry Maguire insisted he had no interest in negotiating a move away from Bramall Lane.
Ten weeks and one England under-21 cap later, the Sheffield United centre-half last night reassured supporters those sentiments have not changed.
Maguire, who made his international debut during Tuesday’s challenge match against Northern Ireland at Bloomfield Road, has attracted an army of admirers at both top-flight and Championship level since graduating from the club’s youth academy in April 2011.
Asked whether his experiences on the Fylde coast mean he is now unwilling to wait “three, four or even five years” to help Danny Wilson’s side reach the Premier League, Maguire’s response was as emphatic as the tackles which have propelled him into the reckoning for next summer’s Euros in Israel.
“No,” Maguire, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Stevenage, said. “Nothing has changed about the way I think about being here.
“This is a great football club and it’s a big one too. The only thing on my mind is the next game.
“Straight away (after England) I was looking at that. It’s what I’ve been focusing and concentrating on.
“Taking every single match as it comes.”
With chauffeur driven limousines whisking Stuart Pearce’s squad to their training camp at Blackburn before ferrying them home after the game, Maguire sampled a taste of the high life during his stint in the North-West.
The 19-year-old, expected to make the 82nd senior appearance of his career against Gary Smith’s charges, describes his rise to prominence as “a bit of a blur” but said: “The most important thing for me is being able to play football. That’s how I am going to improve and how I am going to hopefully keep getting better.
“Less than two years back I was playing for the youth team and I didn’t think things would happen this quickly.
“But, like I say, the only thing I’m interested in is football and actually being involved in games.
“That’s how you get your experience isn’t it.”
United remained second in the League One table despite losing their unbeaten record at MK Dons last weekend. Stevenage are third and travelled north looking to bounce back from painful 4-1 defeat by Preston North End.
“This is a massive game for us,” Maguire said. “Stevenage are a good team and they have changed a little bit since we came up against them (in the play-offs) last time.
“I thought we were really unlucky against Milton Keynes. We didn’t deserve to lose that as far as I could see but we did and so we move on.
“The most important game is always the next one. That’s what I think and so do the rest of the lads here too.”