Jose Mourinho has been discussing Luke Shaw‘s performance during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Anderlecht in the Europa League, praising the 21-year-old for providing “something new” against the Belgian side.
Shaw, having missed out on the reverse leg Belgium and the win over Chelsea, was reintroduced on the left hand side for the clash with Rene Weiler’s men.
He was an effervescent figure throughout, bombing up and down the left hand side with superb levels of energy as Anderlecht, following a strong first 70 minutes, started to retreat.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, was quick to point towards the way in which Shaw, clearly responding to his public criticism of his work rate, provided a different dynamic on Thursday night.
“I always trust the players with special mentality. Always trust them. Shaw did something new today, it means a lot for me,” he said.
“After 90 minutes, before I know that I have to change Zlatan, he [Luke Shaw] had cramp.
“He said if you need to make a change in another position I am ready for it.These kind of things make me trust the players.”
If you’re wondering what Mourinho means by ‘something new’, he is alluding towards Shaw insisting that he would, in spite of suffering from cramp, play the whole of extra time against Anderlecht. Quite a contrast with the Englishman, back in November, opting out of the starting XI ahead of the clash with Swansea in response to not feeling psychologically and physically prepared.
The Portuguese, through publicly questioning Shaw’s work rate, threw down a challenge to the youngster. And nobody can question that, so far, he has responded in perfect fashion.