Luke Shaw opens up on Jose Mourinho criticism and "very hard time" at Man Utd

Luke Shaw has reflected on the "very difficult time" he endured at Manchester United due to his strained relationship with Jose Mourinho.

The left-back was repeatedly singled out for criticism by Mourinho during the Portuguese's two-and-a-half years in the Old Trafford hot seat.

After a 3-1 defeat by Watford in 2016, Mourinho said: "Today for the second goal, [Nordin] Amrabat on the right side, our left-back is 25 metres distance from him, instead of five metres. But even at 25 metres, then you have to jump and go press. But no, we wait."

And after a draw with Everton the following year, the manager said: "He [Shaw] had a good performance, but it was his body with my brain. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him."

Shaw has outlasted Mourinho at United and is in a rich vein of form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with five assists in 26 appearances under his belt this season.

The 25-year-old was plagued by injuries after joining the Red Devils for £30million in 2014 but he claims he never considered leaving the club.

"I always believed in myself," Shaw told BBC Sport ahead of Manchester United's FA Cup fifth-round tie with West Ham on Tuesday.

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"There were times where maybe people were thinking ‘maybe he could leave’, but I always believed that one day I would be able to fight my way back into the team and show people what my qualities are.

"I feel like I am starting to do that now but there is still more to come. I’m still quite young and have time to improve."

On current form, is Luke Shaw the best left-back in the Premier League? Have your say in the comments.

Addressing the criticism directed at him by Mourinho specifically, Shaw added: "It was difficult because I wasn’t able to get my word across.

"A lot of people were behind me here, so I knew I had that backing, but I just needed to keep my head down and keep quiet.

"People were saying negative things about me but I just look back at it as a learning curve and something that has improved me as a person off the pitch, not just on it.

"You always have some doubts. I have been very unfortunate to pick up the injuries I have had but I’ve always believed I can be an important player here.

"You want to be here and showing people what you can do. Hopefully I can keep doing that and proving people wrong."

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