Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side face Sevilla on Sunday and hope to book their place in the final of the competition
Harry Maguire has warned his team-mates that only reaching semi-finals is not good enough as he opens up on the pressure of playing for Manchester United.
The club captain is hoping to guide Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to their first final under the Norwegian. Twice already this season they have reached the last four but fell at the final hurdle, losing to Manchester City and Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup respectively.
While they have been on promising cup runs all season Maguire admits that only winning the trophy will be acceptable.
“Getting to semi-finals isn’t good enough for this club,” Maguire said ahead of Sunday’s last-four clash with Sevilla in Cologne.
“Obviously some competitions are bigger than others, but every trophy is really important for this club. Every final, every semi-final, every quarter-final you’re playing, you’ve got to win.”
The centre-back, who joined the club from Leicester last summer, knew the pressure that would come with signing for United and he has found himself on the receiving end of some stern words from pundits over some of his performances.
Former club captain Roy Keane blasted the defender after United’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham in June but the 27-year-old has learned to expect to be scrutinised.
“I think there’s pressure to play for any club. I think when you’re at that level, you feel the pressure to play for any club,” Maguire explained. “Obviously Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world, if not the biggest. If you play for Manchester United, you’re expected to go and win every game.
“Every goal that you concede is obviously in the limelight, it’s scrutinised. For me, I think that’s the biggest thing coming to this club. I knew that I had to deal with that. I’ve felt like I’ve dealt with it well because obviously there’s going to be so many highs at the club but there’s also going to be a lot of lows.
“There’s going to be times where I can do better for goals that we concede, but it’s how I bounce back, it’s how I learn, it’s how I improve.”
Maguire said United are going into Sunday’s game full of confidence but he knows the pressure is on to reach that first final of the season and complete the campaign with a trophy.
“I joined this club to win trophies. I fully expect to win trophies while I’m at this club,” Maguire said. “Obviously when you could be lifting a trophy in a week it’s exciting – such an exciting time for myself and such an exciting time for the team to be in the competition so late on.
“Like I said, now we’ve got this far we need to go and really push and improve on the semi-finals that we’ve reached already and take it another step.”