Harry Maguire has confessed he 'does not want to get used to' his new reserve role at Manchester United, having started just one of the club's their last eight Premier League league games.
Still the club's captain, Maguire has featured in just eight Premier League games under Ten Hag - something the boss insists has not always been his fault - and was brought into the starting lineup for Saturday night's FA Cup tie against Reading, a lower league opponent.
His role has even attracted rumours of a possible move away from Old Trafford but 90min understands that United have ruled out sending Maguire on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Asked about his situation after Saturday's victory, in which he completed 90 minutes for just the third time in 2023, Maguire admitted he is determined to force his way back into Ten Hag's thinking.
"I'm 29 and haven't really been in this position in my career before," he said. "I don't want to get used to it but it is part and parcel of football. I’m pushing, training well, and when chance comes, I need to take it.
"It was two-and-a-half weeks since my last start but I've felt I have looked after myself. I've been working hard in training. The lads who have been playing have been doing well. I have to be ready when my chance comes. We’re all going to be needed for the second half of the season."
Maguire was part of an impressive United performance which made an impact on Reading manager Paul Ince, who was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's famous Red Devils side of the early 1990s.
"No disrespect, if we had played United a year ago I would have felt he had a right good chance of beating them, teams were coming here thinking they could get something as Burnley did and [Aston] Villa did," Ince said.
"Ten Hag in a short period of time has lifted the club. The last two or three years have been tough for United fans. Ten Hag has started to bridge that gap. They are starting to get a presence about them. That is important, if you go back to the Fergie years there was a presence. There is no stuff coming out about fragmentation in the dressing room."