Maguire: Man City exploits gives England winning mentality

Leicester’s Harry Maguire says Man City’s victories last season inches England closer towards their first continental trophy since the 1966 World Cup. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: England’s chances of landing the inaugural Nations League title – a first continental trophy since the 1966 World Cup – have been boosted by Manchester City’s exploits last season, says central defender Harry Maguire.

The 26-year-old Leicester star – linked to a big money move to Manchester United – said City players like Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and Fabian Delph had brought a winning mentality to the squad following their historic domestic treble.

This plus the confidence gained in the England camp from their surprise run to the semi-finals of the World Cup last year – Maguire was one of the standout players – stand England in good stead for their Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands on June 6 in Guimaraes, Portugal.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a trophy,” said Maguire.

“You want to be winners. We’ve got a lot of winners in our team – (as) you’ve seen with the Man City boys who have just turned up, and won three trophies this year.

“We have a lot of winning mentality in our team and hopefully we can transfer it to international football now.”

Maguire said England will approach their clash with the Dutch – the winner will play either Switzerland or Portugal in the final – emboldened by qualifying from a group that included Spain and World Cup finalists Croatia.

“We haven’t really been beating the high-ranked teams in recent years, so to get through a group with Spain and Croatia is really important,” said Maguire.

“We’re the only semi-final team from the World Cup to manage to get through to last four as well.

“So it’s a great achievement on our behalf, and now we’ve put ourselves in for a good summer, and it’s one we’re looking forward to.”