Hard man Harry is set to dig deep

Warrior: Harry Maguire
Warrior: Harry Maguire
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HARRY Maguire, the Sheffield United defender, will continue to undergo treatment for injury ahead of next week’s FA Youth Cup final second leg at Old Trafford.

John Pemberton, whose side are hoping to lift the trophy for the first time in the Bramall Lane club’s history, revealed Maguire pushed himself through the pain barrier during Tuesday’s draw with Manchester United.

Harry Maguire at full stretch with Manchester's Sean McGinty.

Harry Maguire at full stretch with Manchester's Sean McGinty.

The problem, which Pemberton revealed can be traced back to his appearance against Swansea City in the Championship earlier this month, did not prevent Maguire from starting United’s meeting with their illustrious namesakes.

But medical staff will continue to monitor the teenager during the build-up to Monday’s return in Lancashire.

“Harry was struggling after Swansea,” Pemberton, United’s academy director, said. “But he was desperate to play in the game. He made it clear there was no way he wanted to miss-out and was absolutely determined to be involved.

“The lad flitted in and out of training before (the first-leg) and didn’t join in with everything. He’d do some work and then he’d sit out some.

“He got himself ready and started the game. In fact, he lasted longer than we thought he would do.”

Maguire, who is among a host of academy graduates being tipped to establish themselves at first-team level, delivered a typically combative display before eventually succumbing during the closing stages of a match which drew a near 30,000 crowd to the Lane.

Jesse Lingard fired the visitors into an early lead before Callum McFadzean helped United overcome a tentative start with a rasping equaliser. Will Keane edged Paul McGuinness’ youngsters back in front before Jordan Slew, who also made a handful of appearances during United’s ill-fated 2010/11 campaign, levelled again.

With Micky Adams paying the ultimate price for failing to save them from relegation, United will seek a commitment that home-grown talent will be given an opportunity to flourish before appointing the 49-year-old’s successor.

Danny Wilson, previously of Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley, Oxford’s Chris Wilder and Russell Slade of Leyton Orient are all interested in the post.

However, United are unlikely to make any announcement until after their forthcoming trip to the North-West.

Although Wilson delivered Premier League football to Oakwell in 1997, his achievements at Swindon Town and Hartlepool are likely to prove particularly attractive to a board of directors keen to employ someone with experience of buying and selling in the lower leagues.

Kevin McCabe, United’s plc chairman, recently confirmed that funds will be made available for “strategic” signings over the coming months.

Pemberton said: “I thought the boys showed a real spirit and resilience against top-quality opposition. To twice come from behind showed the character they’ve got but, to be fair, it was no different from the character they’ve shown all the way through the tournament.

“They’ve got a really strong sense of togetherness. Now we must show exactly the same again.

“I’m sure the lads will do.”