Luke Shaw with a defiant message that will be welcomed by Jose Mourinho
Manchester United's Luke Shaw has insisted he accepted the public criticism fired at him by his manager Jose Mourinho and vowed to win him over in the final weeks of the season.
Mourinho suggested earlier this month that Shaw was ‘a long way’ from a first team recall as he questioned his attitude and commitment in training.
He then had a rapid change of heart as he handed Shaw a recall to his squad a few days later and then gave him a rare Premier League start in Sunday’s 3-0 win against Sunderland.
That has fuelled the 21-year-old defender's hopes of being involved in Thursday's Europa League clash against Anderlecht, with Shaw clearly thrilled by his unexpectedly swift return to Mourinho's plans.
"I've got a massive smile on my face," Shaw said after just his second Premier League start in over five months.
"It's great to have got 60 minutes under my belt and to help the team get the victory we needed.
"I wanted to play 90 minutes but it is the manager's call and I think the manager made a good decision to sort of make sure I didn't get that second yellow.
"I felt really good, felt really fit and now on from here I just want to work hard in training and keep playing games. I feel really good, I feel really confident.
"I took what the manager said on board and, like I said, I will work hard until the end.
"I want to be at this place and hopefully I can carry on giving great performances for the club until the end of the season."
United certainly need players to step up in the closing weeks of the campaign - a challenge few expect Zlatan Ibrahimovic to shirk.
After taking his goal tally to 28 at the Stadium of Light, the 35-year-old compared himself to Benjamin Button, the fictional character who ages in reverse.
"Listen, whatever he says he backs up," Shaw said with a laugh. "He always delivers and he delivers at the most important times.
"At Sunderland he was really good again, setting up (Marcus) Rashford's goal at the end and obviously scoring the important goal for us at the start.
"It is wonderful to have a great player like him in our team and hopefully he keeps going until the end of the season and helping us."