Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says that his teammates feel “devastated” after their shock defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday.
The Red Devils lost 2-1 to statistically the worst team in Premier League history after 19 games of a single season. Indeed, the Blades’ win took them to only eight points from 20 outings.
They remain rock bottom, 10 points adrift of safety, but have earned a huge lift from what was also the club’s first win at Old Trafford since 1973.
For United, though, their defeat cost them the chance to move back above Manchester City at the summit. What’s more, their 13-game unbeaten run came to an end.
According to centre-back Maguire, however, such a reality check is what United require to refocus.
“It’s the best thing possible,” the Englishman told MUTV ahead of Saturday’s away trip to Arsenal.
“When you do get a defeat, there’s nothing worse than waiting time to get back out on the pitch to play and put things right. The boys are devastated in there, if I’m being honest. It’s a really quiet dressing room. The boys are so disappointed.
“We didn’t expect it. We came into the game confident, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up. Tomorrow is a new day. We are still disappointed, it hurts, but Saturday is a big game and we’ve got to bounce back.
“It’s all good and easy when you’re winning football matches and you’re playing well, but now it’s time to stand up, be counted.
“When you get kicked down, it’s how quick you bounce back and Saturday’s a big one and we’ve got to go and get three points.”
Something was missing for Man Utd
The visitors took the lead through Kean Bryan’s header from a corner in the first half.
But United have shown a penchant for coming from behind to win this season. As such, Maguire’s leveller looked to have provided the inspiration for another comeback.
However, Oliver Burke’s deflected shot cannoned in off the bar to help the Blades make history.
“We have great belief,” the United skipper said. “At half-time we knew we didn’t perform well in the first half but felt like we still had belief that if we scored the next goal we would go on to win the game.
“We scored the next goal, it was an important goal and we never found anything extra to push, found that little spark, that inspiration. Something was missing.
“We’ll work on it, we’ve got to improve. We know that it’s not good enough for this club.
“We’ve got to win games, especially at Old Trafford against teams that are where they are in the league. For sure we’ve got to improve.”