England boss Gareth Southgate has revealed his delight at Harry Maguire's reaction to his sending off against Denmark last month, having been fearful that his dismissal could 'bottom everything out'.
Maguire was dismissed after picking up two yellow cards in the first half of England's eventual 1-0 defeat to the Danes in October's Nations League fixture.
His red card epitomised what had been a challenging period for the 27-year-old both on and off the field. Maguire is still waiting for a retrial after being found guilty of charges including bodily harm and attempted bribery while on holiday in Mykonos in the summer.
That conviction has been nullified while he awaits a new hearing - but he has spoken of the distress the episode caused.
Maguire's form was affected at the start of the 2020/21 campaign but the Denmark horror show has seemingly ignited a mini-renaissance in recent weeks. He's continued to churn out impressive displays at the heart of the Manchester United defence and his goal in England's 3-0 win over Ireland on Thursday was a celebration of his recovery.
Southgate, meanwhile, said he feared things would worsen for Maguire before they got better in the wake of his Denmark sending off but is thrilled to have seen him bounce back in such impressive fashion.
“With Harry, I was really pleased. I felt that the red card here could bottom everything out," Southgate admitted, via the Evening Standard. “You could see on his face when he was walking off the pitch that night how he was just having one of those spells where he must have felt everything was against him.
“I had some good conversations with him and I know his club would have supported him and his club performances were solid after that and I thought it was important to get him back in an England shirt.
“It was lovely moment for him to captain the team and to get the goal as well is a real boost so that was great to see.”
Maguire's red card does mean he's suspended for England's crunch Nations League clash with Belgium on Sunday night, a contest they really have to win if they're to stand a chance of progressing to the finals.