HARRY MAGUIRE insists his celebration in England’s World Cup qualifier against Albania ‘wasn’t directed’ at anyone.
The Manchester United skipper cupped both of his ears after opening the scoring in the Three Lions’ 5-0 win at Wembley on Friday night.
Harry Maguire bagged England’s opener against AlbaniaCredit: Alamy
The Manchester United skipper then proceeded to put his hands to his earsCredit: Reuters
But the defender insists the celebration ‘wasnt directed’ at anyoneCredit: EPA Maguire’s gesture appeared to be a message to his vocal critics, but the under-fire centre-back is adamant there was no meaning behind the celebration.
In his post-match interview, the £80milllion defender said: “No, it wasn’t directed at no one.
“It was a knee slide, I obviously put my hands on my ears, but no.
“I’m Manchester United captain, of course I’m going to get criticism when the team isn’t doing well, I fully expect that.
“But of course it’s not directed at no one.”
Maguire’s celebration enraged Manchester United legend and ITV pundit Roy Keane.
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The Irishman fumed: “Puts his hands to his ears like he shutting the critics up.
“But I think that’s embarrassing.
“He’s been a disgrace the last couple months for Manchester United.
“He thinks if he scores there, he’s going to shut his critics up. Embarrassing.”
Former England hitman Ian Wright said of Maguire’s celebration: “You just don’t need to do it.
“It’s something I probably would have done.
Maguire’s celebration enraged Manchester United legend Roy KeaneCredit: ITV “He’s got a lot of football to play, so don’t give them the opportunity to say, ‘Right we got to him.’ Just play your game, Harry.”
England’s annihilation of Albania saw them stretch their lead at the top of Group I to three points and virtually seal their place in next winter’s tournament.
And Maguire admits the team went into the match with a point to prove following a disappointing draw with Hungary in their last qualifier.
He said: “I think when you play for England there’s always an edge.
“There’s that pressure that you’ve got to go and win a football match.
“We didn’t win the last game, against Hungary, we were disappointed with the performance; we spoke about that, we analysed that.
“I think if you don’t play with an edge when you play for your country, there’s something wrong.”
Maguire and his England team-mates will be back in action on Monday evening, taking on rock bottom San Marino.
The former Leicester City ace will resume club duties next Saturday when United travel to Vicarage Road to take on Watford.
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Southgate comments on Harry Maguire’s bizarre celebration following England goal