Luke Shaw is relishing the challenge of keeping his place in the Manchester United starting XI after the arrival of Alex Telles. The Brazilian left-back joined on transfer deadline day for around £15million.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer identified the left-back position as one that needs strengthening after Shaw’s inconsistent fitness record. Brandon Williams did a fine job when stepping into the role last season but can also play right-back.
As a result of Williams’ versatility United let Diogo Dalot leave on loan. Telles, who has a terrific record of goals and assists for a defender, is now expected to take the side’s defence to the next level.
“Competition for any team is a must,” Shaw told ManUtd.com. “There is competition for every single spot and you’ve got to be ready for it, work hard and give the manager a decision harder than what he’s had to make before. Like I said, competition is very healthy for the squad, it’ll push everyone even more because everyone wants to play.
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“It [Saturday’s match] is one we all want to play in. We all hoped it would be a bit earlier, to be honest, as the last game wasn’t good. We’ve had a lot of time to think and work and be ready for this. We need to win it. It’s a must-win game and we want to put things right. We’ve got very important games coming up. Everyone is looking forward to working hard so we’re going to be ready for it.”
Shaw was also asked about United’s damning defeat to Tottenham and confessed the team must pull their socks up.
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“We know it’s time to work hard and even work harder than ever,” he said. “We know the results haven’t been great recently and we need to get back to what we used to be. We’re working very hard to bring back that intensity we had, as we very much need to push on after this international break.”
On what United need to do against Newcastle this weekend, he said: “We need to control the game.
“We need to create chances. We need to be clinical and, especially at the back, we need to be more solid.
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“Not just as a backline but throughout the whole team, a bit more defensively solid and a bit more compact. I think you’ve probably seen in the last few games, we were easy to play through. Look, we can count it as down to mistakes and people can put their hands up. Maybe I’ve made a couple of mistakes and so have others in the games.
“We’ll put our hands up and move on from that but I think everyone needs to give a little bit extra, including myself. We want to and need to. This club deserves that.”
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