Shaw: It’s a really important game
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw believes today's Premier League clash with Bournemouth is extremely pivotal in our quest for a top-four finish this season.
The Reds are currently one point clear of fifth-placed Liverpool and have a game in hand on the Merseysiders, making us well-positioned to clinch Champions League qualification for next season, with just three Premier League matches left.
With the Cherries having already confirmed their top-flight status following Everton's loss at home to Manchester City last weekend, Gary O'Neil's side will be full of positivity and Shaw has called for United not to underestimate the challenge that lies ahead.
“It’s a really important game and it’s going to be a very tough game,” Shaw told club media earlier this week.
“Bournemouth away is never easy. We just have to go in with the right attitude and right aggression and do the right things and I’m sure we can get the win there.”
Shaw has found the net once so far this season - against the Cherries at Old Trafford in the return fixture - and our no.23 spoke about his memories of that very goal, as he targets getting on to the scoresheet again.
“It was a good team move,” Luke added. “[Alejandro] Garnacho had it outside the box and crossed it in and I don’t score many with my right foot so it was nice.
“It was also an important goal and hopefully I can get another one on Saturday.”
Having also had the benefit of no midweek fixture for the last fortnight, Erik ten Hag's men have had the perfect opportunity to hone in the focus on our final four matches, starting with our trip to the south coast this afternoon.
Reflecting on our disappointment in the Europa League, Shaw touched upon how the Reds have welcomed the chance to recharge our batteries at a crucial point in the season.
“It’s been really strange to be honest – we’d much prefer to be in the Europa League but it’s been good to have a little bit of rest, something different,” said the United defender.
“This season has been very challenging, there have been a lot of games and not really much time to rest. Us as a team feel like we’re benefiting from a whole week [of preparation].
“We’ve been training hard and working on what we’ve got to do in the game at the weekend and I think that’s been good to have a longer period of training time.
“The manager can fully get his tactical ideas across on how he wants us to deliver in the games.”