Harry Maguire chats Nations League, building on last summer and U21s' potential

As England continue their preparations for the UEFA Nations League at St. George's Park, Three Lions defender Harry Maguire sat down with TheFA.com to chat about the trip to Portugal, hopes of silverware and a reunion with some of his Leicester City team-mates...

Wednesday 29 May 2019
Harry Maguire chats to his Three Lions and Leicester City team-mate Ben Chilwell at St. George's Park

How much have you been looking forward to this summer, and the Nations League Finals?

Yeah, it’s something I’ve been looking forward to since last November. We did really well to qualify, as we had a very tough group with Spain and Croatia and we got off to the worst start after losing our first game.

But we dug in well and got some important results away in Croatia and Spain and then managed to get through in the tense home game against Croatia, so it’s given us something to look forward to and a trophy to try and win.

We've had a good week or so of training at St. George's Park

A lot has happened since that win over Croatia, including the start of a new Euro Qualifying campaign…

Yes, but it’s nice to come off the back of two wins in the March camp because we know how important it is to qualify for tournaments.

We don’t take anything for granted, it’s hard to qualify for any major competition and we put in two good performances to set a tone for the group and put ourselves in a great position.

We’ve got plenty of confidence going into the Nations League and we know it’s going to be tough, there’s four top teams involved, but we’ve got enough talent in our dressing room to compete and we’re in there with a chance.

After last summer, and coming so close at the World Cup, this must feel like a timely shot at getting some silverware?

Definitely. We haven’t had our hands on some silverware in a long, long time. Although it’s a new competition, it’s one which has been very competitive and it’s something we’re really looking forward to.

We have a tough game against Holland first though. They’ve picked up recently and are one of the best teams in the world at the moment, so we know it’s going to be tough but we have a lot of talent in our squad.

It was great to play against the likes of James Maddison in our training game with the U21s this week

You’ve been training at St. George’s for the last week or so, but you had a training game with the U21s squad this week. How was that?

It was good actually. They’ve got a great squad going into the Euros and I think they’re one of the favourites. They have some talented young boys, who are very energetic and athletic and it was a great training exercise for us as it probably was for them as well.

They’ve got four Leicester players in the squad, so it was like a training game for a few of us, with the likes of Chilly, Demarai, Harvey Barnes, James Maddison and Hamza Choudhury all involved. It shows what a great club they are in bringing youngsters through at a good level.

I wish them all the best in the tournament and I hope they go on to win it.

For us, after a lot of intense work last week, it was good to get back out on a full pitch and play, especially with the first game being less than a week away now.

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By Nicholas Veevers