Sport Soccer

Monday 5 December 2016

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw is ready to take his chance

Published 27/10/2016 | 12:06

Manchester United's Luke Shaw, right, helped frustrate the Manchester City attack on Wednesday
Manchester United's Luke Shaw, right, helped frustrate the Manchester City attack on Wednesday

Luke Shaw wants to earn Jose Mourinho's trust and help Manchester United kick on up the table.

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For a player that enjoyed such a smooth ascent from Southampton to England and Old Trafford, the 21-year-old has endured some tough moments with United.

An eye-opening first season was followed by a superb start to his second campaign, only for a horrific double leg break to bring that to an abrupt end last September.

Shaw returned to action 10 months later in Mourinho's first pre-season friendly, but playing time has been restricted since the United boss highlighted his mistake in the defeat at Watford, starting just two of the subsequent eight matches.

Illness and injury has warped that statistic but the left-back was fully-fit for Sunday's match at Chelsea, only to be left out of the 18-man matchday squad.

Shaw returned to the line-up in Wednesday's 1-0 EFL Cup win against Manchester City and wants to re-establish himself, with impressive defender Eric Bailly's unfortunate injury offering him a chance to do just that.

"It's normal that you're frustrated on Sunday because I would have loved to play in that game," Shaw said. "But it obviously wasn't meant to be and at the end of the day it is the manager's decision.

"Obviously with the injury with Eric now it might be my time to step up and show the manager what I can do and that he can trust me.

"The first half wasn't the best of mine. I thought I did good but some of the crosses I wasn't getting maybe too tight, but (Jesus Navas) is a very quick player and it was quite tough.

"But I came out in the second half and I felt much better. I was closing him sharply, we made sure he got no crosses in and, at the end of the day, I feel really good.

"Hopefully I play on Saturday and get another 90 minutes and a good result with that."

Shaw, robbed of so much football through injury, is disappointed by Bailly's setback, although confident United have the depth to not only cope but improve.

The England international wants to build on the City win when Burnley arrive in the Premier League on Saturday, with the left-back also targeting victories at Fenerbahce and Swansea before the international break.

"Nothing is easy and no fixtures in the Premier League are easy," Shaw said. "We've seen that time and time again.

"People might think that's an easy game and end up losing them. I am not going to say that: every game is a tough game.

"I think it's time to start focusing on every game like a final and playing like a final as well.

"It's two more league games until the international break.

"We've got Burnley at home which is a must-win, and obviously we go to Swansea that we know will be a very tough game.

"We've got Fenerbahce of course and that is a very tough place to go.

"We are looking or we need to get maximum points I'd say because it's our time to start pushing up the table."

Shaw hopes the international break brings the chance to add to his six England caps rather than rest.

Injury has prevented the youngest player to feature at the 2014 World Cup from fully establishing himself at international level, but he hopes to be recalled by Gareth Southgate, his former manager at England Under-21s level.

"He was top," Shaw said of Southgate. "He's a top manager and I really enjoyed my time with him in the Under-21s.

"I am sure that he is going to do a really good job with the senior team and I am really looking forward to hopefully linking up with him again.

"I really love playing for my country and I hope Gareth gives me the nod.

"Obviously I know Ryan Bertrand's injured so I think maybe it might by my time to go back into the England squad and hopefully get some game time."

One of Shaw's six England caps came in November 2014 against Scotland, when he started a memorable 3-1 win at Celtic Park.

"It was an unbelievable experience and I want more of that," he added.

"It was an important game then but an even more important now to get points on the board. Hopefully I am involved."

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