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Man Utd defender Maguire bemoans sixteen-day break after draw to Newcastle.

Man United captain Harry Maguire issues rallying cry to his teammates, asking them to perform better in the games to come.

Maguire was off the mark at St. James’ Park
Maguire was off the mark at St. James’ Park

The Red Devils were lucky to escape from St James' Park with a point after a disastrous display against relegation-battling Newcastle.

Manchester United played out a 1-1 draw away to Newcastle United on Monday night, and Harry Maguire, who was well below par, expressed his disappointment at the Red Devils not being able to seal a win at St. James’ Park.

It was United’s first game in 16 days after two fixtures were postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the squad.

And, they looked like a side that were just returning from preseason after having beers and Xmas turkeys, which they are entitled to.

The 1-1 draw means United failed to win in the Premier League for the first time under Ralf Rangnick with their hopes of securing a top-four spot taking another blow.

However, Maguire reckons the break didn’t do any good for Rangnick’s side, adding that a point against the Magpies was a fair result.

"No sixteen-day break in the middle of a football season is going to help you,” the Man Utd captain told the club’s official website.

"The training ground has been shut, and half the lads playing today are recovering from the virus so of course it's not going to help us. We’ve had people with symptoms, people without symptoms, it’s been a real mixed bag for everyone at the football club and it’s been a tough time.

"But you can’t make excuses for sloppy passes and the opportunities that we had, especially in the first half.

"We’ve got to stay on the ball, we’ve got to stay active and we’ve got to play the ball in their half and we didn’t manage to do that.

"You can look at that and ask whether the last 16 days had a big impact on that because it looked like we ran out of steam out there. A point, in the end, is a fair result, but it's a result that we’re disappointed with."

The England international heaped praise on goalkeeper David De Gea, who made several important saves to deny the hosts from winning the match.

"David’s on great form at the minute," said Maguire. "In big moments, it always seems to be, late on in games, that he’s always there to produce for us."

Rangnick made changes at half-time when United were behind, bringing on Edinson Cavani and Jadon Sancho for Fred and Mason Greenwood and the decision had an impact on the match.

Maguire said of the duo that came on: "He (Cavani) has come on and made a big impact and I think you’ve seen in the first 30 minutes of the second half especially, it was probably our best spell in the game.

"Credit to them (Sancho and Cavani) for making that change in tempo and intensity."

Going forward, Maguire believes there will be better performances when United start playing week in week out.

"That’s the best thing about the Premier League, you’ve always got a game in two, three or four days’ time so it [Burnley on Thursday] is one we are looking forward to,” the centre-back added.

"I'm sure 90 minutes will have benefitted every single player out there. The Burnley game and the Wolves game are coming up thick and fast and we’ve got to play better than we have done tonight to make sure we get three points."

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