Soccer

Luke Shaw aims subtle "man-management" dig at Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal

Luke Shaw has aimed a subtle dig at former managers Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal over their man-management skills.

The Manchester United full-back is flourishing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's guidance at Old Trafford and is finally producing the form which persuaded the club to sign him for £30million in 2014.

Van Gaal had questioned Shaw's professionalism prior to him suffering a serious leg injury early in his second season at United, and Mourinho had then succeeded the Dutchman by the time the defender returned.

Shaw was regularly criticised by Mourinho, whose harsh, abrasive style failed to get the United star firing, but Solskjaer's approach is having a much greater impact.

"His man-management is second to none. The way he conducts himself in terms of how he speaks to the players, it gets the best out of them," Shaw said of his current boss to Sky Sports. "You can see that. He deals with situations perfectly in terms of what is needed, especially at a big club like Manchester United."

Shaw mentioned how Solskjaer's willingness to take full responsibility for performances and results helped lift the pressure off the team, almost unfairly at his own expense.

In reference to his former managers, Shaw then added: "For me, especially, from what I had before Ole came in, it is a total difference. It has pushed me to a new level."

The 25-year-old's resurgence has seen him become one of United's key players this season and force his way back into the England squad ahead of this summer's European Championships.

It is a far cry from the days under Mourinho were he was seemingly under persistent attack with several public condemnations.

Shaw has previously admitted it was a "very hard time" – and whilst he is not keen to look for sympathy, he credits Solskjaer for helping him rediscover his confidence again.

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"I don't want to come across like I was a little kid who could not deal with being put under pressure because at a big club like Manchester United you are always going to be under pressure and under the spotlight. That makes you mentally stronger," he said.

"But I had no confidence at that time. I was losing my belief. I think that is what changed with Ole. He managed me right and I got my confidence back and I am really enjoying it at the moment.

"Enjoyment and confidence. For me, they are the two biggest things you need on the pitch. You need that belief in your ability to perform at the highest level. I feel I have that now."

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