Football

Luke Shaw determined to avoid repeat of Van Gaal criticism

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It seems Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has learnt his lesson from 12-months ago.

Fresh off a £30 million move from Southampton and an appearance at the World Cup for England, the then 20-year-old was publicly criticised by his new manager, Louis van Gaal, for his fitness levels and was forced to train on his own having reported back overweight.

Shaw is adamant there will be no repeat of last years antics, as he revealed he and Adnan Januzaj took a Man United fitness coach on holiday to ensure they were in good shape for the start of pre-season.

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Niggling problems

Shaw's first season at Old Trafford was interrupted by injury problems following his struggles during the off season. A number of niggling injuries restricted him to just 16 league appearances in his debut campaign.

The former Southampton man is now striving for a continued run in the starting line-up, as he learns from the error of his ways.

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As seen in the Manchester Evening News, he said: “I only had myself to blame. I didn’t arrive at the club in the correct shape and things didn’t go to plan. The manager told me his feelings and I totally accepted that.

“At a massive club like United you have to be at your best. But I learned and this season I feel much fitter, much sharper and I have the experience of a year at Manchester United behind me. The big difference is my fitness.

“There were stories that Adnan and I were ordered to take a trainer but they weren’t true. We decided to ask a member of the coaching staff to come with us and we paid his flights.

“He worked us in four sessions per day. We had a football pitch, a gym and an altitude trainer, we did beach runs too. The most important thing for me was to come back fitter pre-season.”

Looking ahead

Following a 2013-14 campaign that saw Shaw break into the England national team at the expense of Ashley Cole and be named in the PFA Team of the Year, big things were expected following his move to Old Trafford.

However, following a disappointing campaign, Shaw will be hoping to stay fit through the upcoming season and showcase the talents that persuaded the club to pay £30m for his services.

Following a concussion that forced him to miss the final two matches of last season, United took the step to withdraw him from Gareth Southgate's England squad for the European under-21's Championships and the player feels the extended break this summer has done him the world of good.

He said: "I have come back to this pre-season in much better shape than I did last season. The rest has done me really well, the trip to Dubai helped also and I feel good.

"I just hope I don't get any injuries this time."

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Topics:
Luke Shaw
Manchester United
Premier League
Football

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