Maguire insists Man Utd are 'improving' despite dropping more valuable points at Old Trafford

The England defender tried to remain upbeat about the Red Devils’ Premier League position after a disappointing draw with Aston Villa

Manchester United are heading in the right direction despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Aston Villa on Sunday, according to Harry Maguire.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side squandered a 2-1 lead at Old Trafford, after a Tom Heaton own goal and Victor Lindelof header had cancelled out an early Jack Grealish strike for the visitors.

Tyrone Mings’ 66th-minute effort ensured that Villa left Manchester with a point, as United’s worst start to a Premier League season in 33 years continued.

The Red Devils are ninth in the table after 14 fixtures and already have a daunting eight-point gap to make up on fourth-placed Chelsea.

United have only recorded four wins to date and look destined to miss out on Champions League football for a second successive year if results do not start improving quickly.

However, £80 million ($103m) summer signing Maguire thinks the squad have made significant improvements recently, with a combination of nerves and a failure to capitalise on their dominance the main reasons for their latest setback.

The England centre-back is already looking ahead to a home clash with Tottenham on Wednesday as the perfect opportunity to bounce back, as he told reporters post-match: “As a team, we are improving but we want to improve a lot more.

“To not win games at home is disappointing. We huffed and puffed but we need to do better and Wednesday [at home to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur] gives us a great opportunity to put that right.

“We were poor after their first goal. It knocked us and we were edgy and nervous.

“To concede straight away after going in front it’s disappointing. We dominated for large parts of the second half.”

United were held to a 3-3 draw against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane last week, after a stirring second-half fightback was rendered moot by Oli McBurnie’s late equaliser.

Solskjaer’s men made the same mistakes against Villa, with Maguire left bemoaning the amount of clear cut chances the visitors were allowed at the Theatre of Dreams.

“As a defender especially, it’s frustrating.“ He told MUTV. ”We haven’t really conceded many chances or goals prior to the last two games and then we’ve conceded five. And the attackers have scored five and we’ve ended up coming away with two points.

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“It’s disappointing, especially as a defender. It’s something that we’ll work on but it’s not like we were conceding lots and lots of chances today. Jack scored a worldie and the second goal has come from a set-play, which we need to tighten up on.”

Maguire did, however, feel that United looked threatening in the final third and were ultimately unlucky not to register any more goals against the Premier League new boys.

“I felt every time we went forward in the second half, we were going to score,” he added. “We caused them numerous problems. Anthony [Martial] had a great chance, sometimes the ball doesn’t go in the back of the net.

“That’s what happened today, but, like I said, the first half wasn’t good enough. The second half was better but it’s disappointing to draw at Old Trafford.”

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