HENRY MAGUIRE has hailed the contributions of team-mate Neill Collins and player-coach Chris Morgan in turning him into a Sheffield United regular.
The teenager has stepped up from the youth team this season to become a mainstay of Danny Wilson’s Blades team.
Maguire has featured in all 17 league and cup games for the fifth-placed Blades to justify the faith shown in the defender by Wilson.
And the captain who played a big part in United reaching the FA Youth Cup final last season believes he owes a huge debt to both Collins and the injury-sidelined Morgan.
He said: “I am proud to have stayed in the team and it gives me confidence to know that the gaffer has got confidence in me.
“My team-mate Neill Collins has been a really big help, too. He is always telling me stuff.
“The same goes for Chris Morgan who has been doing a lot of work with the back four since he has been out injured. He is always giving me pointers in the week and also before and at half-time of our games.
“All I want to do is play football so it is great to know I have got people around me who are ready to try and help.”
Maguire’s impressive form brought a new contract earlier this week to keep him at the Lane until 2015 and he added: “It was very important to sign my contract and I was very pleased.
“It means that I can concentrate on my football and that football is the only thing in front of me.
“Hopefully, I can help Sheffield United get promoted. I want to play as high as I can with Sheffield United.
“I feel as if I have got a lot of experience early in my career and that’s a good thing.”
Maguire is one of several family members blessed with footballing talent and admits that his dad’s verdict is one he also listens to intently.
He added: “My father played for Sheffield FC and he was also manager for my Sunday morning team.
“I’ve got two brothers who are involved, too.
“All three of us have been here at United but the eldest is now with Ilkeston and the younger one is with Sheffield Wednesday now. They’re both really good players.
“I can be my own biggest critic at times but my dad always tells me what he thinks of my performances, too. We speak a lot.
“He’s always really constructive but when he says I’ve done well then I know I definitely have.
“Seriously, though, having all of that to fall back on has been a real help.”
United travel to the capital to take on an in-form Leyton Orient side who have bounced back to breathe fresh impetus into their season.
Wilson, whose side beat Preston North End in midweek to move back into the play-off places, admits it will be tough against the London club.
“We won’t underestimate them. They must be top of the form table at the moment,” said the Blades chief.