Luke Shaw has described José Mourinho’s criticisms as “hard to take” but has promised to prove his manager wrong and force his way back into the Manchester United starting XI.
The defender has been publicly criticised by Mourinho on several occasions, including after the 1-1 draw against Everton on Tuesday. The 21-year-old came on as a second-half substitute at Old Trafford but Mourinho said the player was “using his body with my brain”. That followed the Portuguese questioning Shaw’s commitment, focus and ambition.
Shaw has responded by saying he is determined to stay at Old Trafford. “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,” he said. “Like José 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.”
The left-back suggested his application is not in question. “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.”
Shaw, who against Everton made his first appearance since January, said he was delighted to be back in the first team and thanked the United fans for their support during this difficult time. “I have missed being on the pitch so much. 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.
“The fans have been so good to me and, like I said, especially the last sort of two days. That’s why I love them. 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.”
United kept their unbeaten run intact against Everton thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late penalty and travel to Sunderland on Sunday attempting to secure a win in order to close the gap on the top four.
“There is still a very good chance of reaching the top four and that is our aim right now,” Shaw 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.”