‘It’s part of our job…’

Rory McIlroy has shown his support for Harry Maguire after the Manchester United defender endured another week of public criticism.

The 30-year-old was booed repetitively after coming off the bench for England against Scotland on Saturday, before scoring a calamitous own goal.

Gareth Southgate has blamed the ‘ridiculous criticism’ of Maguire, which has intensified in recent months, on ‘idiots’ in the media, despite him being a ‘tower of strength’ for England.

Maguire has also endured a turbulent time at Man Utd recently. He was relinquished of the captaincy by Erik ten Hag and was linked with moves away from Old Trafford throughout the summer.

A switch to West Ham United failed to materialise, with Maguire happy to stay and fight for his place with the Red Devils.

He currently finds himself behind Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order, however, and has played just 23 minutes for Man Utd this season.

Varane is currently sidelined, though, so Maguire may get more opportunities in the next few weeks.

READ MORE: Jadon Sancho: Man Utd release statement to confirm winger’s punishment amid Ten Hag saga

McIlroy: ‘It’s a tough world we live in…’

Amid the rampant criticism of Maguire, McIlroy, a truly superb golfer and self-confessed Man Utd fan, has offered some words of support for him.

Speaking ahead of this week’s DP World Tour flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, McIlroy said: “I’m sure Harry wakes up every morning, goes to work, and tries his best, just like we all do.

“When your life and career are laid bare like that and everyone sees everything… you could make 20 great passes in a game and the one pass that didn’t go quite right is the one that everyone’s going to concentrate on.”

“It’s a tough world that we live in, but unfortunately it’s part of our job and being in that public spotlight. We get well rewarded for being in that public spotlight. That’s the way it is.

“I do things that shield me from that, and it certainly protects my mental health. I think more and more sportspeople are getting to the point where they’re doing the same thing.”

McIlroy will be under huge pressure himself in two weeks’ time when he will try to help Europe regain the Ryder Cup from the United States at Rome’s Marco Simone Club & Country Club.

As for Maguire, he will have to keep working hard if he wants to break into Man Utd’s starting XI again. It will be interesting to see if the defender features against Brighton on Saturday.

READ MORE: Arsenal accelerate with late swoop for hugely promising midfielder; four-signing flurry for Man Utd


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