The Englishman’s relationship with Mourinho was decidedly strained last season, with the 54-year-old publicly attacking Shaw for his inadequate work rate in training back in April.
His continued absence from the squad this term led to many predicting a January exit, but Shaw has flourished ever since impressing against CSKA Moscow, making eight appearances since December.
And Shaw, speaking ahead of Man United’s 3-0 win over Stoke City, noted that Mourinho has played an important role in helping him recapture his best form over the last month.
“The manager has been really good with me and has given me extra confidence,” he said.
“He’s just told me to go out and enjoy the games and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m focused on working really hard for the manager and for the team because I want to keep on playing and hopefully more games will come.”
The left-back really did look dead in the water less than two months ago: back from injury but, once again, a mere bystander to Mourinho’s plans, seemingly forever consigned to a peripheral role.
But then, bit by bit, Shaw displayed signs of something he has desperately lacked since arriving at the club in 2014: a sense of grit.
For all the energy and thrust that accompanies his performances, Shaw has impressed most with his tenacity. Perhaps for the first time, the 22-year-old’s leg-breaking is not weighing him down. There is no fear or trepidation to be sensed in his approach, and supporters can only hope to see it continue without any further injury woes.