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Jose Mourinho admits Luke Shaw is running out of time at United

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Shaw back in the United forward after public criticism from Mourinho last weekend
Shaw back in the United forward after public criticism from Mourinho last weekend

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho handed Luke Shaw a surprise recall to his squad for Tuesday night’s game against Everton, before serving up another warning for his full-back after his encouraging second half appearance in the 1-1 draw.

A last-gasp Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty extended United’s unbeaten run in the Premier League to 20 games, but a ninth home draw of the season leaves Mourinho’s side four points behind local rivals Manchester City, who sit in fourth spot in the Premier League.

The performance of Shaw caught the eye as he came off the bench just three days after Mourinho questioned his attitude and suggested he was ‘a long way’ from getting back into his first team plans.

Those comments inspired Shaw to stage a meeting with Mourinho on Monday, with his quick return to United’s first team squad suggesting his manager liked what he heard from the 21-year-old as he looks to revive his United future.

Yet Mourinho still seemed reluctant to praise Shaw after his return to action, as he gave an insight into the reasons why he is fighting for his future at United.

“I told Luke Shaw his performance was good, but it was good because he was on my side,” stated Mourinho.

“I was thinking for him and leading his performance. He has to improve and we have to help."

Mourinho then hinted that it was not a concern over fitness levels, but rather doubts over Shaw’s mental strength to deal with the challenges of playing for United that are at the root of his problems.

“He has lots of potential but the football brain and the professional brain has to be with the talent.

“He has to change his football brain. He was doing things in the second half when he was reacting to my voice. If he was on the other side for sure he would not do it.

"I was making every decision for him. When to go inside, when to open, when to press the opponent. I was making every decision for him.

"The fantastic body he has to play football, the fantastic physical qualities he has, the very good technical ability he has, but he cannot play with my understanding of the game. He has to think and he must accelerate the process.  

"When you are 21-years-old, it is old enough to have a better understanding of the game.

“I think he has a future here, but Manchester United cannot wait. We need the kids to grow up.”