Jose Mourinho explains how Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial can get into the starting XI

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has explained how Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial can breach the starting XI at Manchester United over the next few weeks, encouraging the pair to give everything they have.

The 54-year-old has publicly questioned the attitude of both Shaw and Martial in recent weeks, noting they hadn’t displayed the work rate required to make the starting XI.

Both players have produced notable responses, with Shaw diligently completing 120 minutes against Anderlecht and Martial starring during a 2-0 win over Burnley.

And Mourinho, speaking ahead of the Manchester derby, noted that he couldn’t fault any player as long as they committed everything to the cause.

“It is not a psychological approach,” Mourinho said. “It is common sense. When you give everything you have, I cannot demand more from you.”

“Marcus [Rashford], even when not performing especially well, he was giving absolutely everything. I could never demand more from him.

“I could just support and say, ‘Better days will arrive’. Always super happy with the approach of such a young and talented kid.

“Some other guys don’t give everything they have so that’s the point. They have to and when they do it, I’m happy with them, it doesn’t matter how they perform.”

Mourinho is regularly conceived of as inept at managing younger players, but he deserves credit for the way both Shaw and Martial have mounted notably resurgences over the last few weeks.

Players around the age of 21 can be difficult beasts to handle: far from complete but, at least in their minds, somewhat established, and therefore prone to complacency. This can be seen with the aforementioned pair, but Mourinho has made it clear to them – and indeed the wider world – of what he expects at this level.

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