Mixed news on Wan-Bissaka and Shaw

Friday 20 October 2023 22:30

Erik ten Hag has provided some guidance on when we can expect to see Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw again in a Manchester United shirt.

The Reds have been without the two full-backs for some time, with Wan-Bissaka sidelined since coming on as a late substitute in the home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in mid-September.

Shaw has been out even longer, as he has only played twice all season - against Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur - in our opening two fixtures of 2023/24.

Part two: Press conference v Sheffield United Video

Part two: Press conference v Sheffield United

Press conference | Erik ten Hag issues updates on Mainoo, Shaw and Wan-Bissaka...

"Of course, they are closer [to a comeback]," Ten Hag replied, when asked about the status of the two defenders. "But so, for instance, Luke Shaw, I don't expect him back in this block of games.

"For instance, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, I don't think he's too far away from returning into team training and so back in the team."

These comments would suggest it is unlikely we will see Shaw come back until after the next international break, when we resume domestic duties with a trip to Everton on Sunday 26 November.

The boss does expect the level of performance to rise when he has more of his absent players available, although he has been at pains to stress he would never use injuries as an excuse.

"If you can't use, every time, the same players, you can't bring in the routines," he explained. "Some routines slipped away in the last weeks and, yeah, that had a bad effect on the results. As you said, I never use it as an excuse. We still have a good squad, we still have to win, we still have our principles, rules and way of playing.

"The players should know what to do, of course, but in co-operation, sometimes with different combinations that have not played so often together, sometimes you get hesitation. Such details, the opposition take benefit from it. As I said, and you said, you can never use that as an excuse."

What Bruno said at half-time


Fernandes gives a fascinating insight into life in the dressing room and on the pitch, as he recalls our Brentford win.

Ten Hag admits he has faced similar injury issues with his previous clubs, which has helped him handle the situation.

"I have dealt with it before," he said. "Yeah, sometimes, you find yourself in such a bad place; as a manager, coaching staff and team. You have to make the best out of it, to stick together, to be positive.

"So I know, when the players will return, we will play at high levels absolutely."

Next up for the Reds is Saturday's Premier League encounter at Sheffield United, kicking off at 20:00 BST.