HARRY MAGUIRE admits that Hull City’s determined stance not to sell him to Premier League rivals Middlesbrough has served as a confidence-booster.
The former Sheffield United defender was the subject of intense summer transfer interest from the Teesside club, who saw two bids rebuffed by Hull, including a second offer of £5m.
Despite some pre-deadline uncertainity over his future, Maguire – now over an ankle injury that saw him miss the big kick-off – is eager to kick on with the Tigers, with his next aim being to establish himself as a regular centre-half this term.
On the links with Boro, Maguire, who made just his second seasonal start in the EFL Cup win at Stoke on Wednesday night, said: “I was not really concentrating on it too much. The club reiterated to me that they were not going to accept anything for me.
“Middlesbrough kept coming back, but the club kept rejecting them, which gave me a bit of confidence really and showed that they want to keep me for the long season ahead.
“Obviously, it is up to the club and I am under contract. While I am playing here, I want to get into the side and hopefully do a job.
“I was injured at the start of the season and the boys have started well and they have picked up some good results. Now I am back in the side, hopefully I can stay in. We will have to see how it goes.”
Maguire hopes that his midweek display will provide a potential selection headache for caretaker manager Mike Phelan after the 23-year-old was handed a start with make-shift centre-half Jake Livermore suspended.
He added: “Jake has done a great job and filled in brilliantly.
“It has been hard to move him, but obviously he has picked up his suspension and the cup win was a good result.
“All I could do was give the gaffer a headache for Saturday and that’s hopefully what I have done.”