The 24-year-old centre-back got the nod to captain the side with Michael Dawson, Curtis Davies and Tom Huddlestone all absent from Marco Silva’s starting line-up on the night and ensured the evening was memorable for more than one reason by scoring his first Premier League goal with a thumping second half header as the Tigers secured a valuable three points against the Teesside outfit.
“As a footballer it is always an honour to wear the armband at any point and I’d been delighted to take it a few times already when Tom went off the pitch,” he said.
“That wasn’t something which the manager directed us to do but Tom always just passed the armband on to me.
“But leading the team out against Middlesbrough was something that I relished and was a real honour. It was a great feeling.
“I did it a few times for Sheffield United during my time there and it’s definitely something I’d like to take on as my career progresses.
“No matter who takes the armband, we all go out onto the pitch with the same message and the same determination.
“There’s a lot of responsibility on a captain and I’ve enjoyed working under the best captain I’ve had so far in Michael Dawson.
“Obviously Curtis Davies is a captain for us too and he’s someone who’s always taken the lead for us in games throughout his time here.
“I’ve been lucky to see how they have taken to things as captains and hopefully it’s this experience which will help me along the way.
“Being the captain of a team is certainly something I’m aiming for in my career.”
Maguire’s performances in a black and amber shirt since Marco Silva’s arrival at the KCOM Stadium have earned him rave reviews from all quarters, with the centre-back also tipped by many for an England call-up.
The defender has often had to play second fiddle in the centre of the Tigers’ defence during his time at the KCOM Stadium but has firmly established himself as a first team regular this campaign.
The former Sheffield United man believes he is benefiting from a consistent run in the side under Silva, but also credits his fellow centre-halves with pushing his game on to the next level.
“Michael and Curtis have been a different class for the team over the past couple of seasons so I haven’t had many complaints really for being out of the team,” added Maguire.
“Breaking into the team was the first challenge I had to overcome and obviously I’ve gone from strength to strength since then. Hopefully now I can kick on and go on to even better performances.
“Andrea’s been brilliant since coming in to the building and he’s played a lot of games.
“He probably wasn’t expecting to play quite as many but he’s been really solid for us and has helped fill the gap which was left when ‘Daws’ and Curtis picked up injuries.
“We’ve now got four very good centre-backs now fit and pushing each other even for a place on the bench.
“That can only be a good thing and help us push each other for better performances. It’s a dilemma for the manager but one I’m sure he’s pleased to have.
“I’ve learnt a lot from all the defenders here and I’ve picked up good traits from all of them.
“That can only make you a better player and I’m lucky to have such experienced players to play next to.
“Andrea has 20 odd caps for Italy so you know he’s a very good footballer who has played right at the top of the game.
“Hopefully we can bring the best out of each other and help keep some clean-sheets between now and the end of the season.”