Luke Shaw has admitted that he made a mistake in thinking life at Manchester United would be the same as it was at Southampton.
The fullback came in for some criticism from manager Louis van Gaal regarding his fitness levels, something the 19-year-old was quick to acknowledge was a problem.
Making an unexpected appearance in United’s 0-0 draw with Inter on Tuesday despite undergoing a tough double training session, the youngster replaced Reece James who was expected to play ni the second half but picked up an injury.
Speaking to the press, Shaw admitted that van Gaal was correct to point out that he needed to do more if he was going to play for a club like Manchester United.
“It’s something I totally agree with. Playing in this formation [3-5-2] you really have to be fit. I am fit but not at his [Van Gaal’s] high demands. I know I have got to get fitter to get up and down.
“That’s something I am going to work on, and tonight in 45 minutes I felt really good, so I am looking forward to keep on progressing until the start of the season.
“I didn’t come into United thinking it’s going to be much harder and that’s something I made a mistake on. I thought it was just going to be the same but United is the biggest club in the world and there are world-class players in training so it’s something that is going to push me on.
“That’s something I need to keep me pushing on and this is only going to help me in the long run.
“Pre-season you are always going to try and get your fitness up so I am not too sure but I played 45 minutes and I felt great. I could have played on. It’s a progression from the last game I played so hopefully now the main focus is getting fitter and fitter and I’ll be flying by the start of the season.
“I wasn’t meant to play today because me and the staff decided it would be better to push me harder in training, but I didn’t have any problems and I feel good.”
Whatever he has been doing in training seems to be working as van Gaal commented
“I think he did very good tonight.
“He’s working very hard. He was lucky today because I was going to play our friend Reece James, but he was a little bit injured.
“And so I asked Shaw to play, in spite of a very heavy training session this morning.”
See van Gaal’s Luke Shaw comments below:
Here is van Gaal supervising a Manchester United training session:by