Roy Keane admits he feels sympathy for under-fire Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and fears the England defender’s recovery from a difficult spell won’t be aided by a return to a dressing lacking natural leadership.
The 27-year-old has endured a difficult start to the new season following the fallout from his arrest for an altercation with police during a summer holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos.
Maguire was all at sea during the catastrophic 6-1 defeat against Tottenham earlier this month and he has fared little better while on international duty with England over the past fortnight.
The United skipper’s misery was compounded against Denmark last night when an error-strewn performance was capped with his dismissal for two yellow cards in the space of 31 first-half minutes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are back in action on Saturday against Newcastle in the Premier League and it remains to be seen whether or not the United boss takes the world’s most expensive centre-half out of the firing line, or maintains his faith in him.
Whatever decision the Norwegian takes, his former team-mate Keane fears Maguire will struggle to regain his confidence surrounded by a group of players he deems not fit for purpose.
He said: ‘The only down side is for Maguire, he’s going back to a team not full of confidence.
‘I’ve been in situations before when I was in a situation with brilliant characters, I felt the dressing room was the best in the world. He’s not going to get that, in that back four.
Keane was also critical of England manager Gareth Southgate for failing to console Maguire as he trudged off the Wembley pitch, contemplating his latest costly mistake.
‘I think sometimes he [Gareth] knows Harry has had a tough time on and off the pitch, a pat on the back would have helped him.
‘That would have settled him from Gareth.’