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‘Clearly I’m in his head a lot’ – Luke Shaw shrugs off Jose Mourinho criticism

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow – UEFA Champions League – Group A – Old Trafford
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Luke Shaw has laughed off the latest criticism from his former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho – claiming he is “in the head” of the Portuguese manager.

The relationship between the pair during Mourinho’s Old Trafford tenure was often strained, with Shaw negatively singled out on more than one occasion.

The 25-year-old never won over Mourinho but has got his career back on track following his sacking in December 2018.

Luke Shaw (left) has got his career back on track with England and Manchester United

Luke Shaw (left) has got his career back on track with England and Manchester United (Nick Potts/PA)

Shaw, who won just one England cap while fighting to get into the United side, has since been able to win back a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England team and started the last two Euro 2020 fixtures at left-back.

But despite not working with Shaw for over two years, Mourinho has still pointed the finger at the former Southampton youngster – who was then the most expensive teenager in world football when moving to United in 2014.

Speaking in his role as a radio pundit, Mourinho was left unimpressed by Shaw’s set-piece delivery in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic – a result which saw England top Group D.

Mourinho labelled the service “very poor” and “dramatically bad”, but Shaw did not agree and was left questioning why he is still being targeted by his former boss.

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“I don’t really understand it, to be honest,” he said.

“I don’t know why he is still going on and wanting to point at me. I don’t feel like the set-pieces were as bad as he was saying.

“I might have done one in the second half, a corner, that didn’t get over the first man. But that was one out of three. The other two or three, I don’t think, were as ‘dramatically bad’ as he says.

“Look, he has got to do his job. He has got his opinion. I am used to him saying negative stuff about me now, so I just pass it by. I leave it be, I ignore it. I just focus on what the coaching staff say here, what Gareth says and that’s that, really.

“His voice is obviously very big. He likes to talk a lot about me, as everyone has seen recently. But his voice is his own. He can say what he wants.

“I will focus on myself. I take set-pieces at United, so it wasn’t as if it was something I wasn’t ready for.”

Shaw revealed his England team-mates have even noticed that he seems to be unduly criticised by Mourinho and suggested the former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss’ managerial days may now be behind him.

“There is no hiding that we didn’t get on,” he added.

Jose Mourinho (left) was Luke Shaw's manager at Manchester United between 2016 and 2018

Jose Mourinho (left) was Luke Shaw’s manager at Manchester United between 2016 and 2018 (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I think he was a brilliant manager but, you know, the past is the past. It is time to move on. I am trying to move on but, obviously, he can’t.

“He continuously talks about me, which I find quite strange. Even some of the lads have said ‘what’s his problem?’ and ‘why does he keep talking?’

“He just needs to move on. Hopefully he can find his peace with that and finally move on and stop worrying about me. Clearly I am in his head a lot and he clearly thinks about me a lot.”

Mourinho was appointed as the new head coach at Roma in May after an 18-month stint at Tottenham but has been speaking as a pundit on talkSPORT throughout their Euro 2020 coverage.

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Asked if he can now laugh off any fresh criticism, Shaw added: “Yes, because I don’t think any of you realise the two or three years I had with him and how bad it was then, what it was like then.

“What he says now is nothing compared to how it used to be. I am being totally honest. I am so past it now. I have grown up a lot.

“The three years I had with him, I learnt a lot. I find it easy to ignore him now and even laugh about it. But it’s better just to ignore it and move on with my life.”

Instead of looking to the past, Shaw is only interested in preparations for England’s Round of 16 clash with Germany on Tuesday night.

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“It would feel unbelievable,” he said when asked what it would mean to beat their old rivals.

“Not just for us as players, but for the whole nation to see that would be brilliant. Of course what’s happened in the past is the past.

“But us as players, as a whole team, want to create our own story and you know what a perfect way to start that by hopefully beating Germany on Tuesday and setting a tone for the rest of the tournament.”