Ferdinand wants Maguire taken out of the firing line | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand has suggested Harry Maguire should be taken out of the firing line at Manchester United after a poor start to the season.

England slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Denmark in their recent Nations League clash, but the main talking point was the red card issued to Maguire in the first half after two needless yellow cards.

That performance added to a wretched start to the season in which the defender has been culpable of a series of errors, with United accruing just four points from their opening three Premier League fixtures.

Maguire was sent off in the first half in England's defeat to Denmark
Maguire was sent off in the first half in England’s defeat to Denmark | Pool/Getty Images

Prior to the season kicking off, Maguire was also involved in an incident while away on holiday, in which we was arrested in Greece after an altercation with police. In an effort to ease the pressure on his shoulders, Ferdinand has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop him for the upcoming clash with Newcastle.

“In these situations – that I’ve been in as well – you sometimes need to be taken out of the oven,” he said, via the BBC. “[Manchester United manager] Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] has a big job on his hands and I think quite an important role to play in this.

“Whether maybe it’s time to give him a little rest, let him gather himself and build that confidence back up. I got brought off in one game, I think it was Middlesbrough away, the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] spoke to me and said ‘get yourself back to basics, train well and you’ll come back in’.

“That’s what happened and I was fine. It’s just sometimes that bit of pressure being taken out that can actually help you.”

United fell to a crushing 6-1 home defeat to Spurs in their most recent league match
United fell to a crushing 6-1 home defeat to Spurs in their most recent league match | Pool/Getty Images

During a solid enough debut season for the Red Devils after joining from Leicester for a world-record fee for a defender, Maguire was handed the club captaincy and led United to a third place finish last campaign. However, individual performances have deteriorated rapidly since.

“When you’re taken out of the firing line, you get time to sit back and actually analyse yourself, your performance, your preparation, your recovery – all aspects of what goes around a football match or 90 minutes,” Ferdinand added.

“It’s then about rebuilding yourself and playing simple. Effectively trying to get through a game without being seen. It might sound silly but that’s the way I used to look at it when I was lacking a little bit of confidence. Because at the moment you’re being seen for all the wrong reasons.”

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