Luke Shaw has given a glimpse of life under Jose Mourinho, claiming Manchester United players need a thick skin to play under him.
Mourinho accused his under-performing team of lacking heart and desire following their limp draw with Crystal Palace.
He also name-checked Shaw when questioning the character and personality of some of the young players he inherited at Old Trafford.
Shaw, 23, insists he didn’t take those comments to heart – and admits himself that he can’t explain United’s desperately inconsistent form.
“You need a thick skin, of course, playing for the manager,” said the England international, who has recently signed a new five-year deal after being the subject of tough love from Mourinho. “But 100 percent this club, it’s the biggest club in the world and we as players need to take what’s said on board.
“I keep saying it, but we need to fight for the team, the manager and the fans and the club.
“Of course we’re going through a bad stage at the moment, but that’s why I signed my contract, because I know good things are coming our way and hopefully that’s sooner rather than later.”
Mourinho laid into his players after the draw at Palace – and responding to questions over the United team’s heart and desire, said: “It’s hard to say, but sometimes of course it might look like that, but I look in the training ground and I look around the changing room and I think everyone wants the same, and that’s to win games and to climb up the table.
“Obviously that’s what we need to do. The last couple of days everyone has been very disappointed,
“This was a big start for us, after the international break we needed to get a win and it wasn’t meant to be.
“Of course we’re all disappointed but we need to fight for the club and the team and the manager starting tomorrow.”
Shaw received some of Mourinho’s fiercest criticism over the past two years – but has firmly established himself in the first team with his remarkable turnaround in form this season.
And in an interview with Spanish TV that was aired last week, Mourinho revealed his issue with the full-back.
“The people who surround the players, who protect them too much, give them too much care, too many excuses. Everyone has an excuse,” he said. “People mature more slowly. For example, Luke Shaw, left back of the national team. He didn’t know how to compete. He had great potential, yes, but didn’t know how to compete.”
On the personal treatment he’s received from Mourinho, Shaw said: “I kind of enjoyed it. It was a very big challenge for me with some of the things he’s said in the past, especially in the last year or two years.
“What he said the other day, that was more a generational thing, I don’t think it was really aimed as much at us as individuals. He’s talking about nowadays’ generation, as opposed to when he was a bit younger.
“We’re more focused on tomorrow, when we saw that, training is much more important, we train hard for the team. We’re just looking to put things right tomorrow.”
Source: Evening Standard