Man United's Shaw set for another spell on sidelines

Jose Mourinho plays down defensive injury crisis
Man United's Shaw set for another spell on sidelines
Author

15 May, 2017

Now just one point off fourth place in the Premier League, United have already won the League Cup and will be gunning for the Europa League final to secure Champions League football next term.

Manchester United manager José Mourinho says he may play the club's under-23 stars against Crystal Palace if they reach the Europa League final on May 24. Missing from action are the long-term injuries to Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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"I think Shaw has to be a big injury to leave the pitch after 10 minutes", said Mourinho, who has been critical of the left-back on several occasions this season.

The 29-year-old Spaniard's return comes in the wake of Mourinho imploring Smalling and Jones to fight to come back earlier than predicted to help out Ivory Coast central defender Eric Bailly who has been a rock in the defence but has not been able to be rested.

Shaw has played just 163 minutes in the Premier League since November, though has impressively created six scoring chances and made 13 defensive actions in that time - both up on his usual per-90-minute rates.

"The referee said to me after the game he was sure what he had seen and was just confirming with the assistant".

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United may well be unbeaten since October in the league, but as they squander every opportunity to get in the top four with their wretched home form, they become increasingly reliant on winning the Europa League to gain a place in next season's Uefa Champions League. In comparison, Swansea have played 19 games fewer - exactly half an entire league season.

The first team players have been notified that they can not post any picture from training, from the preceding 48 hours of the game. "The context is nine matches in April, 810 mins of football, high levels of fatigue, big match after big match after big match", he said.

"So last week, when we played Burnley, that Burnley game would be also a game to play later".

He added to BBC Sport: "The players were very frustrated and angry after that penalty decision at half-time, but we re-focused in the dressing room on what we had to do".

"(But) I am more than happy with the players, they gave everything they could. The spirit is unbelievable, the group is phenomenal. "Fellaini and (Paul) Pogba will be back for that game, so we have more options and we try with everything we have and we go again".

Wayne Rooney put United ahead on the stroke of half-time at Old Trafford with a penalty but Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised 11 minutes from the end with a stunning free-kick.


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