Manchester United defender Luke Shaw says he is continuing to work hard so he can be ready to take his chance ahead of the new season.
Like a number of players, the 23-year-old began his pre-season preparations during his summer break with a training trip to Dubai.
Shaw wants to make up for lost time after being unfortunate with injuries over the last few years, and he told reporters at United’s press conference on Wednesday that he’s determined to show his best form from the start of the campaign.
“I look back over the last few years and I haven’t really had a massive run in the team,” he admitted.
“The year I broke my leg was the best year in my career at United. I felt really strong and good and obviously it was unfortunate with the injury.
“It’s annoying for me to say I need to prove myself but I know what I can do and that’s why I’m still here. I’m sure that’s what the manager thinks because I don’t think I would still be involved right now if he didn’t believe in me. I’ve had a good chat with him and I’m looking forward to the season and getting back to my best.
“For myself it was planned [to go out to Dubai to train] as I did it a few years ago with Adnan [Januzaj] and coming into pre-season it was the best I’d ever felt. I felt like I needed it [to go out to Dubai to train] because for the last few years I haven’t really had a proper full pre-season,” he added.
“A year ago today I was injured and doing rehab but I look at this year as being able to do a full pre-season and, right now, things are going really well and I feel really strong and good. I need to keep that up, not just now, but during the season and prove to people why I’m here.
Mourinho has spoken of the opportunities available for all the players on tour with a number of the squad who played at the World Cup still unlikely to be available for the next few weeks as they recover from their exertions in Russia. And Shaw is focused on making the most of any chances that come his way.
“There aren’t just opportunities for me, there are opportunities for all the players,
“ he insisted. ”I look at it like that and I’m training hard and when the games come around – the next five are all about fitness, I want to try to prove to the manager that I can be in his team. And not just for these games… when everyone comes back and everyone is fit and ready, I still want to be one of the first names on the team-sheet. It’s time for me to show him over the next few weeks in particular what I can do and why I deserve to be in his team.”