In another dramatic twist to the story of an extraordinary struggle which Mourinho is playing out in public, the England international defender declared after acquitting himself well against Everton that he wanted to “fight to the last second because I want to be here for the club. I want to play for the manager and I want to help this team get back to the top."
At a press conference room a few hundred yards away, Mourinho minutes later issued yet more public criticism of the player who had by then just left the stadium, having pledged to work through “a phase where everything sort of is going against me.” The Portuguese accused the 21-year-old - whose shot won United a last-minute equalising penalty - of failing to think for himself on the field. “I was making every decision for him,” Mourinho said. “It was his body with my brain.”
Shaw had already been accused by the manager 72 hours earlier of lacking other players’ work ethic, sought talks to clear the air with the 54-year-old on Monday was reinstated as a United substitute on Tuesday night, in what has been a roller-coaster week for him.
Shaw, who revealed a respect for Mourinho both in his demeanour and words, said: “I have missed it so much, being on the pitch. I really do love football and I love to play on the pitch. I am loving it here at United, the fans are incredible and have been incredible the last couple of days for obviously what has been going on.
"But I am keeping my head up and I am going to fight to the last. I am not going to give up. I love this club and I will give everything to be here. Sometimes I tend to keep it on the low, but obviously with the stuff that has been going on it is hard for me to take because deep down that is not me as a person. Like Jose said, he wants to see me fighting - and I will fight.”
As he spoke, Shaw did show signs that the pressure of the previous days had told. He was certainly not euphoric: above all, seemingly relieved to have been out on the pitch, having had no game time since the home draw with Bournemouth on March 4.
Mourinho said that he had told Shaw to his face post-match that he had not thought for himself in his 25 minutes on the field, though the player is likely to be extremely surprised to hear that the conversation was communicated publicly by the manager.
"It is easy for [supporters]…. to turn on me, do you know what I mean?” said Shaw. "But the passion they have always shown to me is amazing and something I don't and won't forget for a long time because it means a lot to me. I don't want to let them down.”