England defender John Stones insists Harry Maguire has given the ‘best response’ to criticism by putting in three ‘terrific’ displays at the World Cup, as the Three Lions prepare to face Senegal in the last-16
The Three Lions have progressed into the last-16 of the major tournament in Qatar, having topped their group with wins over both Iran and Wales while drawing with USA.
Stones and Maguire have played alongside each other at centre-back in all three matches, keeping two clean sheets, and are expected to remain at the heart of the defence when they take on Senegal on Sunday evening.
England defender John Stones insisted that he never doubted team-mate Harry Maguire
‘From the first game, he has given the best response. All three games he has been terrific,’ Stones told the media in his pre-match press conference.
‘It is about us finding that partnership again and we have done that so far. It is time for us keep building and improving. That is great credit to him.
‘I have been asked a lot of questions about him, but playing with someone for so many games for England, being through so many moments with him and knowing what he’s gone through at his club and it speaks volume about him. I still believed in him and all his team-mates did.
‘There was a lot of noise but he’s tried to improve him and he’s started the tournament really well. That is great credit to him.’
Stones added: ‘Harry is one of the leaders. There are so many leaders within our team. He’s a huge character within the group. We see it around the hotel with how many people he mingles with and gets on with.
‘That goes onto the pitch as well. Throughout his international career he’s always looking to improve.’
More to follow…