Luke Shaw vows to fight for his Manchester United future and 'play for the manager'

James Ducker
The Telegraph
Jose Mourinho has publicly criticised Luke Shaw - Rex Features
Jose Mourinho has publicly criticised Luke Shaw - Rex Features

Luke Shaw has insisted he will not be forced out of Manchester United without a fight as he issued an emotional thank you to supporters for not turning their backs on him in the wake of Jose Mourinho's fierce criticism of his professionalism.

Mourinho had questioned Shaw's commitment, focus and ambition and claimed the England defender was a "long way behind" his rivals for a left back berth at Old Trafford following Saturday's goalless draw at home to West Bromwich Albion.

Shaw responded by requesting face-to-face talks with Mourinho and subsequently earned a dramatic recall to the squad, with the 21-year-old coming off the substitutes' bench against Everton on Tuesday to win the penalty from which Zlatan Ibrahimovic rescued a last gasp 1-1 draw

Even then, Mourinho made the extraordinary claim that it had been "Shaw's body with my brain" that was in operation against Everton because "he was in front of me and I was making every decision for him" and that the player has to improve his understanding of the game if he is to succeed under his management.  

Shaw faces an uncertain future at United, who will listen to offers this summer, but the left back has vowed to work tirelessly to convince Mourinho he is worth keeping and is adamant he can cut it at the club, despite his current problems.

"I am loving it here at United, the fans are incredible and have been incredible the last couple of days with what has been going on," Shaw said.  

"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 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."  

Shaw said he had been particularly touched by the backing of fans, who gave him a warm reception on Tuesday night and have been expressing their support on social media.  

Least impressive unbeaten runs in the PL

"They have been so good to me, especially the last sort of two days. That's why I love them," he said.  

"It is easy for them to see those comments and turn on me, do you know what I mean?

"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 and I'll fight for each and every one of the fans as well."  

Respectful of Mourinho on and off record, Shaw cut something of a relieved figure as he addressed reporters following his comeback after a month on the sidelines.  

And although he was disappointed his goalbound shot was thwarted by Ashley Williams' hand, which resulted in the penalty and the Everton defender being sent off, he is determined to ensure his 25-minute run-out leads to something and is not another false dawn after a season of setbacks.

Shaw has struggled for fitness and confidence since returning from the double leg fracture he suffered last season but is undergoing extra gym work at home as well as at the club.  

<span>Mourinho claimed he coached Shaw through his appearance against Everton</span> <span>Credit: Rex Features </span>
Mourinho claimed he coached Shaw through his appearance against Everton Credit: Rex Features

"I have missed it so much, being on the pitch," said Shaw, who was speaking before Mourinho's remarks about the player needing to improve his game intelligence. "I really do love football and I love to play on the pitch. 

"I haven't scored and it was going in but ... I am working really hard at the moment, especially now more than ever.

"I am going through a phase where everything sort of is going against me, but I want this so badly, I want to prove everyone wrong."

The draw was United's tenth in their current 20-match unbeaten run and dealt another blow to their top four hopes but Shaw believes they can still qualify for the Champions League via the Premier League and are not solely dependent on Europa League success to do so.

"There is still a very good chance of reaching the top four and that is our aim right now," he said.

"Obviously with the Europa League, that is another positive. If you look at the teams in it, we can be one of the favourites. We know we have got the quality and determination to win and do it.

"We were unlucky (against Everton). I think sometimes the luck is not in our favour and it is disappointing. 

"We were all disappointed in the changing room, but we're not going to give up, we're a team of fighters and experienced players."

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