Manchester United manager José Mourinho has insisted that Luke Shaw is going to receive more opportunities in the first-team, after the full-back put in a "very positive performance" in his first start of the season in Tuesday's 2-1 victory over CSKA Moscow.
He is going to get more
It has been a roller-coaster journey for Shaw since his mega-money move from Southampton back in the summer of 2014, a roller-coaster which has a lot more dips than climbs as the full-back has struggled to find fitness and form since his horrific leg break back in 2015.
The 22-year-old's struggles have been well documented for everyone to see with rumours swirling of a possible exit from Old Trafford, but was handed his opportunity last night in the final group game of the Champions League.
Shaw was excellent as he played the full 90 minutes with second-half goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford giving them the narrow win, and Mourinho stated post-match that he was "happy" with his return to the side.
“A very positive performance, especially with the balls going forward," Mourinho stated post-match about the defender's return. "Creating a lot, great intensity in his game."
"It was no surprise that in 80 minutes he’s feeling the consequences of that intensity; it’s normal as it’s the first match of the season for him," the manager proclaimed. "But he’s going to get more.”
"He was waiting for quite a long time, he was deserving [of his chance] for quite a long time," the 54-year-old stated. "It’s not easy to give an opportunity to a player who doesn’t play for many months in matches where the team really needs [a] result."
"I wanted to make changes but changes in players that need a change and not spend a change on Luke," Mourinho added. "But he managed on for 90 minutes and really I told him this is not the best, this is just an opportunity for you to play and to improve your level. Honestly, I am happy with his performance."
Very excited for the derby
Now that United's passage from Group A and into the last-16 has been secured the focus will return to the Premier League, and it is a big one for The Red Devils as they welcome local and title rivals Manchester City to the Theatre of Dreams.
Pep Guardiola's side have been all guns blazing on all fronts so far this season as they remain unbeaten ahead of their clash with Shakhtar Donetsk, with eight points separating the two sides going into Sunday's game.
A big absence for Mourinho's side will be talisman midfielder Paul Pogba who received a red card in last Saturday's 3-1 win over Arsenal, but United fans will be expecting a similar performance despite his absence and defender Victor Lindelöf stated his excitement for he clash with The Citizens.
"I am very excited for the derby," Lindelöf stated to manutd.com. "If I get the chance to play.”
“Right now, I am just happy for the win and that we have finished first in the group," the Swede proclaimed. "And, tomorrow, we think about the next game"
"It is going to be a massive game," the defender concluded. "That we are all looking forward to.”