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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Jose: Shaw needs to raise his game or he's out

Full-back is left behind as United seek to seal last-16 spot in St Etienne

Luke Shaw in training
Luke Shaw in training

Jose Mourinho says Luke Shaw needs to raise his game unless he wants to remain Manchester United's fourth-choice left-back.

Having missed the majority of last season following a horrific double leg break, the 21-year-old's comeback campaign has been disrupted by niggles and an inability to win over his manager.

Despite being fit since mid-January, Shaw has only appeared in the FA Cup fourth round win against Wigan - and was left out of the next four squads.

The left-back was an unused substitute at Blackburn on Sunday and conspicuous by his absence in France, having been overlooked for the 20-man squad despite training on the eve of the game.

Shaw's omission for the Europa League last-32 second leg at St Etienne raises further questions about the England international's future, but Mourinho pointed to Henrikh Mkhitaryan's rise as inspiration.

WORK

"He (Shaw) stayed behind in Manchester because I am playing with Daley Blind, with Marcos Rojo, with Matteo Darmian and all of them are playing the way I like a full-back to play," the United boss said.

"Luke has to wait for his chance, he has to work better and better, knowing that I give nothing for free.

"When I give something to the players, it's expensive for them. It's not cheap, it's expensive.

"They have to work really hard every day. Really hard every day. They have to play well, so he has to wait.

"In this moment, he is behind the others."

Asked if he is getting towards the left-back he wants, Mourinho said: "Potentially he has many things that I like.

"But one thing is potential, another thing is on the pitch to express all the qualities that I like a player to express.

"And he has to keep working, like Mkhitaryan did for a long time."

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney's future at Old Trafford is also in doubt with Mourinho claiming he could leave at the end of the month amid interest from China.

The 31-year-old's deal runs until next summer, with United holding the option to extend it by a further year. Whether he sees out the season - never mind his deal - remains to be seen, as does the United captain's availability for Sunday's League Cup final against Southampton.

Rooney returned to light training on the eve of this evening's clash with St Etienne, but the hamstring complaint could yet scupper his chances of featuring at Wembley.

"I don't know," Mourinho said. "It was the first time he trained and he didn't even train 100 per cent with the group."

Phil Jones is another that misses the trip to St Etienne through injury, while influential midfielder Ander Herrera serves a one-match ban.

Matteo Darmian did not travel and Luke Shaw was overlooked for a match that United approach with one foot in the Europa League last 16, having won last week's first leg 3-0.

"No (we will not play with a relaxed mentality) because we have not already done the job," Mourinho added.

"(St Etienne manager) Christophe Galtier is a person who manages to motivate his players very well and he will motivate them very well I'm sure, with the help of the fans.

"So 3-0 is indeed a very good result but if we play as we usually play, I think it is mission impossible for St Etienne."

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