Luke Shaw

Shaw: Tranmere win revived our season

Saturday 11 April 2020 17:00

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has identified United's 6-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers in January as one of 2019/20's key moments.

United are currently on an unbeaten run of 11 games, which started with that victory on the Wirral. But the team's improvement has widely been attributed to the impact made by new signings Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo, who arrived later that week.
However, in our latest 'United Hangout' video, Shaw and team-mate Daniel James told presenter Mark Sullivan that the fourth-round Emirates FA Cup win at Prenton Park was key in swinging the season back in a positive direction.
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"It was a very professional performance and attitude," said the full-back. "I think that gave everyone a confidence boost because, after that, if I'm not mistaken, we've gone on a really good run since that win. So that game was our stepping stone to improve as a team, and to keep a really good record going."
The Reds managed to put the game to bed way before half-time, and Shaw credits captain Harry Maguire – who opened the scoring with January's Goal of the Month – with leading from the front.
"In any game it's really important to get the first goal, but especially in games like that," said Shaw. "We didn't start the best. They might have had a couple of chances, but a special goal from H [Harry Maguire] helped settle the nerves. We built into the game from there on and we scored quite a few good goals, to be fair. It was a good day, [with] obviously going through to the next round."
Further goals followed from Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones, and Anthony Martial's excellent curling effort made it a remarkable 5-0 by half-time, helping United cruise into the fifth round.
Mason Greenwood made it six from the penalty spot after the break, but Shaw initially thought he was getting the call to take the spot-kick – much to the delight of his mocking team-mates!
"I could see Luke on the pitch, he obviously wanted to get that goal," teased James.
"I actually thought the boss was calling me, I was thinking: oh, he wants me to take it!" laughed Shaw. "He ended up telling me to go and tell Mason to take it!"
"I saw Luke run up [to the manager] thinking he was saying him [to take the penalty], but he came back and was a bit embarrassed!" joked James.
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Shaw would get his goal in the next round against Derby County, but the real effect of the thumping win by the River Mersey was to inject confidence back into the team, after two disappointing defeats against Liverpool and Burnley, and ahead of the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
"It was a very positive changing room, a happy one, because we had come off the back of not very good results," admitted Shaw. "But I think it was even more important because we had a massive game against Man City coming up, so it was good in two ways really: the result and clean sheet, and obviously that we got to rest some players, like Jamo, who'd played a lot of football.
“It was a really good day at the office, where some of the main players that had been playing got to rest, and we got a really good result and a boost of confidence."
James agreed: “In that cup game, obviously we were playing a team that's not in the same league, but it gave us a massive boost going from that game to the next game. To beat City gave us another good boost. I think from then on we had great confidence to keep going on winning games.”
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Shaw expressed his frustration that the enforced break to football came at a time when United were thriving, but is looking forward to stepping out onto the field at Old Trafford again as soon as possible.
"I think that's what most disappointing, the fact that we were in such good momentum, that it had to come to a stop," he lamented. "But hopefully things turn into a positive way in the meantime and obviously [everyone should] keep to the guidelines and the instructions of staying inside.
“Hopefully it could be soon that we can get back going again, because I know we miss it but I'm sure the fans miss it even more. It will be nice to get back out there soon, hopefully maybe in the next month or so. We have to just keep training hard here, and when we get that call up, [make sure] we're ready to go.”

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