SHEFFIELD UNITED: U-21 call will improve Harry Maguire’s game - Danny Wilson

Quick rise: Harry Maguire progressed from United's academy less than two years ago.
Quick rise: Harry Maguire progressed from United's academy less than two years ago.
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HARRY Maguire will become an even better player for his England under-21 experience, Sheffield United manager Danny Wilson has insisted, irrespective of whether he features against Northern Ireland tomorrow.

Maguire, United’s teenage centre-half, was last night confirmed as a member of the squad which entertains Steve Robinson’s side at Bloomfield Road following a series of commanding displays for the Blades this term.

Coming less than two years after his graduation from United’s youth academy, Maguire’s selection reflects his burgeoning reputation within the game.

After praising England coach Stuart Pearce’s decision to look beyond the top-flight and Championship for new talent Wilson told The Star: “Harry will only benefit from being involved in the England set-up and it’s richly deserved. All the rest of the lads are too.

“If his feet start to go a few inches off the ground because of it then we’ll bring him back down to earth but that won’t happen because he’s not that type of lad. This is a testament to all of the hard work he’s put in.

“I’m also chuffed for Harry’s family because they’re absolutely smashing too. They’ve brought him up well and give him excellent guidance.”

“It reflects well on the club in general and all of the people behind the scenes who have worked with Harry, including his team mates, down the years,” added Wilson.

“Knowing Harry as I do I know he’ll be the first to thank those people for that.”

Wilson’s delight at Maguire’s possible selection was in stark contrast to his mood when referee Darren Sheldrake’s decision to award MK Dons a 90th minute penalty condemned United to their first defeat of the League One season two days ago.

United remain second in the table but Wilson, who revealed on-loan striker John Cofie missed the game with “a bit of a groin problem,” said: “The ref’s performance in the second-half was abysmal. The lads didn’t deserve that after all the effort they’d put in.

“I accept they (MK Dons) probably should have had a penalty in the first half but he (Sheldrake) got the big decision totally wrong.

“People say I’m going to get into trouble for saying that but why? Am I going to get into trouble for telling the truth?”