Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United achieved their joint-best finish since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
After finishing up sixth and third respectively in Solskjaer’s first two campaigns, there have been genuine signs of improvement this time around.
However, despite being recognised as ‘the best of the rest’, they still trailed eventual champions Manchester City by 12 points.
And speaking to Gary Neville on his Overlap YouTube channel, Maguire admitted that the squad don’t see a runners-up medal as a great success.
“I think we are improving,” said Maguire. “From last season to this season we are definitely improving.
“We’ve actually been on a good run ourselves and I think the run Manchester City have been on has just been incredible.
“You have got to give them credit. They broke away with something like 20-odd games on the bounce.
“We dropped some silly points in silly games,” he added. “We know we can do better in some games and be a bit more ruthless in others, and really have great belief in the bigger games that we can go and win that game.
“But the main thing is improvement. We’ve got to be winning Premier League titles.
“Second isn’t good enough, and I’m sure the lads all agree on that.”
Maguire’s comments echo his manager, who suggested that finishing second should not be recognised as an achievement.
“It’s a good performance but we can’t say it’s an achievement, it’s not an achievement,” Solskjaer said earlier this month.
“We’ve taken steps as a team but we’re not where we want to be, we know we have some deficiencies as a group, there’s parts of the game that we need to improve on.
“But I’ve felt we’ve made strides in most places and I’ve been very pleased with the players and I’ve got to say I’ve been impressed by them, but we want to take the next step as well.”
That’s in contrast to Solskjaer’s predecessor Jose Mourinho, who claimed that his second place finish in 2017/18 was the best feat of his illustrious management career.
“If I tell you, for example, that I can see that one of the best jobs of my career was to finish second with Manchester United in the Premier League,” Mourinho said shortly after his dismissal.
“You say ‘this guy is crazy. He won 25 titles and he’s saying that second position was one of his best achievements in football’.
“I keep saying this because people don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. And sometimes we, on this side of the cameras, we analyse things with a different perspective.”
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