Solskjaer forced to defend Maguire after outburst at Fred during Leeds draw

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire after he was overheard calling team-mate Fred a 'f******' idiot during their draw against Leeds on Sunday.

United drew 0-0 with Marcelo Bielsa’s men to lose further ground on Manchester City, and now look certain to finish in second come the end of the season.

One moment that shocked supporters came as Maguire criticised his colleague for all to hear with the lack of spectators making conversations between the players audible.

Although he wasn’t drawn into the incident in question, Solskjaer knows that his players want the best from each other as they target a solid end to the season.

He said: “We have got a group that demands a lot of each other.

“The standard is high, both in training and in a game — it is not just about being a nice guy. We demand maximum effort.”

Before adding: “I was really proud of how strong we looked. I never thought they threatened our goal in the second half but we missed a little bit of spark to win the game.”

Maguire said: “We had control of the game without punishing them.

“We knew how they would play. Our attacking players love a one v one but today it wasn’t to be.

“Bruno Fernandes had the best chance of the game and on another day he puts it in the back of the net and we take the points. It’s a big week for us.”

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  • While on punditry duty with Sky Sports, former United midfielder Paul Ince admitted that the Red Devils have a long way to go before they reach their potential.

    He said: "As a manager, you don’t want to keep going behind in games and having to come back but it shows you’ve got the character and mental side to do that.

    “Listen, next year, Chelsea will be strong, Arsenal will be, Spurs will be, there will be a lot of teams that are strong. At the moment, well done, but there’s still a long way to go.”

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