Jose Mourinho has revealed what he said to Luke Shaw before he started against Bournemouth in his return to Manchester United’s first-team.
Shaw, 21, made his first start for Man United since November and came through a battling first half in which he through himself into 50/50 challenges and was on the wrong end of a bad tackle by a Bournemouth player.
It was a balanced performance from Shaw and speaking about it after the game, Mourinho said he encouraged him to be positive down the left flank and he certainly was that.
Speaking about Shaw, Mourinho said: “Be positive, play his game, of course to play for Manchester United always has some pressure with you, you wear the shirt, you feel a always a little bit of pressure if you want.
“Responsibility I think is provably a better word but he has to take this step and play and as I like to say, play fluently without any kind of limitation so I just expect from him a positive match.
“I’m not waiting or demanding for him to be the Man of the Match or to do something incredible.”
United looked really balanced with Shaw on the left hand side. Anthony Martial certainly enjoyed the overlaps as the space they created allowed him to run rings around Bournemouth’s right-back Smith. For me, their partnership is one that has so much potential.
Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and even Ashley Young have all filled in at left-back for Shaw this season but just as his performance against Bournemouth showed, United offer a better threat down the left with Shaw in the team. As well as that, he’s the best defender out of the lot but that’s the part which is going to take the longest to come back.
Shaw and Mourinho will both be happy with how he played against Bournemouth and it’s certainly something to build on, potentially starting with a trip away to Rostov next week in the Europa League.