Harry Maguire fired back after speaking of a ‘big crisis’ at Manchester United after putting the trauma of his own week behind him in the 4-1 win at Newcastle.
The captain scored United’s tying goal and gave a flawless performance just four days after being sent off for England.
The win also helped make up for United’s 6-1 home loss to Spurs ahead of the international break, although Maguire believes some of the criticisms have been overstated.
Harry Maguire (second from right) says Manchester United must get past recent criticism
The captain has been a character under siege recently but scored in the 4-1 win at Newcastle
“It’s crazy because we’re in a few games in the season and it looks like a big crisis,” he said.
“This is our fourth game of the season – we played two, lost two. We had two terrible performances and we know we can do better. This club does not deserve performances like we had at Old Trafford this year (losses to Spurs and Crystal Palace).
“We asked questions and worked hard in training. It’s a great group – we knew we had to bounce back, it was a big game for us.
“We’ve come part of the way to respond to criticism, but there is still a long way to go. We need to improve but of course we deserved the three points tonight.
Luke Shaw’s own own goal gave United a nightmare start but Maguire equalized at St James’ Park
The goal and the win offered welcome relief after being sent off against Denmark on Wednesday
Luke Shaw’s goal saw United fall behind in two minutes, but Maguire’s leveler was followed by late strikes from Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford.
Maguire added: “It felt like it would have been really hard if we came back with just the point. It shows a lot of character because we are under pressure and we have had a lot of criticism.
“Taking a goal like we did is really tough to take, but it was great character shown by the guys and a deserved win.
“In every game that we play in the Premier League, we want to fight for the top. We cannot let the games go where we are not.
United were beaten 6-1 at home by Spurs in their last game before the Nations League break
“There will be games where we are not at our best, but we have to do the basics well. In the previous two games, where we were beaten, we did not do the basics well.
“We are still a young team but we don’t want to use that as an excuse. We finished very well last season and we expected to continue and do great things this year.
“We put pressure and expectations on ourselves. It was disappointing to start the way we did but it was a big performance tonight when we needed it, under pressure.
Three goals in the last ten minutes eased the pressure Maguire spoke about at the club