Shaw to start against Young Boys
Jose Mourinho gave an early indication of his plans for Wednesday’s Champions League fixture against Young Boys of Bern following United’s win at Watford, when quizzed about the team’s left-back position.
Ashley Young started the game at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening, after Luke Shaw suffered a concussion problem on international duty that subsequently kept him out of training for the majority of the last week.
The 33-year-old veteran acquitted himself superbly during the Reds' 2-1 victory, prompting suggestions from journalists in the post-match press conference that Young may continue on Wednesday.
But Mourinho’s response was emphatic, confirming just how highly he rates the start Shaw has made to the 2018/19 season.
“Shaw plays Wednesday,” said the Portuguese, before stressing just how important it was that United had a variety of options at full-back.
“We can’t do it with one left-back and Ashley Young is not just a left-back – he’s also a right-back,” said the boss.
“They both are doing well and they both are different players, and they both understand that one is a young player and the other one is the experienced one, and it’s good for us to have these two options."
Shaw started all four of United’s matches prior to the recent international break, drawing praise from the manager on multiple occasions. The head knock he suffered during England’s recent defeat to Spain halted that momentum somewhat, but the manager’s latest words will no doubt fill him with confidence.
Mourinho was also effusive in his admiration for Matteo Darmian – an unused substitute against the Hornets.
“Darmian is my emergency man,” stated Jose. “He is always ready for everything.”
United’s European campaign kicks off on Wednesday night in Bern, against Swiss champions Young Boys.