Southgate praises Maguire's performance

Gareth Southgate has praised Harry Maguire's first tournament appearance for England as the three lions defeated Tunisia 2-1.

Harry Maguire playing for England   -  Getty Images

Gareth Southgate has praised England defender Harry Maguire after his performance in England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.

Maguire, who plays his club football at Leicester City, was preferred to Gary Cahill as one of three centre-backs to start England’s world cup opener in Volgograd.

The 25-year-old looked comfortable in his first tournament appearance and Southgate hopes that will give him plenty of confidence going forward.

“His potential is huge,” he said on Maguire.

“He’s probably the one player — him and Pickford — who haven't played in cup finals on the big stage or Champions League games in the past, so maybe, for him, it was more of a voyage of discovery tonight than for some of the others.

“He has great composure - he has really good defensive qualities, most things land on his bonce in both penalty areas.

“He's got a really lovely calm temperament. I think that he has outstanding potential, I hope tonight's given him a lot of belief.”

Maguire, who started his career at Sheffield United and had a spell at Hull City, will hope to retain his place in England’s second Group G fixture against Panama on Sunday.

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