Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has revealed Louis van Gaal is an inspiration, after the youngster made his debut for the club at the weekend.
The 18-year-old arrived at Old Trafford in a £27million summer switch from Southampton, and starred in United’s narrow 2-1 victory over West Ham.
Shaw suffered a hamstring injury during pre-season, but was called up by Van Gaal due to United’s nightmarish injury list – which includes defenders Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling.
“The injury was a bit of setback but I’ve worked hard in the last weeks and had some talks [with the boss],” Shaw told United’s official website.
“He’s [Van Gaal] been a great inspiration to me and hopefully I can carry that on.
“For him to say I’m an example at a massive club like this is something to be really happy about.”
United face a tricky game next week when Everton make the short trip from Merseyside to Manchester, but Shaw is hoping that the team can now go on a winning run.
“The aim is to win the next three games and carry on producing good performances and getting the points,” he added.
Despite United’s current defensive woes, Shaw and co. managed to hold strong against an onslaught of West Ham pressure during the closing periods of the game.
This was after Wayne Rooney opened the scoring after just five minutes before Robin van Persie doubled their lead on 22 minutes.
West Ham’s Diafra Sakho grabbed a goal back for the visitors before captain Rooney saw red for a reckless foul to prevent a Hammers counter attack.
The visitors also had a goal disallowed for offside – but Shaw is well aware that the decision could well have gone the other way, although he is confident the side will improve.
“I didn’t know if it was offside. It was close. We haven’t had much luck either with decisions,” the youngster stated.
“We have actually had a lot of bad luck, even with Wazza’s [Rooney] red card as I would say there was a handball before that but the referee didn’t stop play.
“Obviously, we went down to 10 men and it’s never easy but we all fought hard and showed how much we wanted these three points. It means a lot to us.”
Rooney will now sit-out the next three games and speaking to reporters in his post-match press conference, Van Gaal admitted the England captain will be a big miss.
“I can see why he made the tackle but I think you have to be far friendlier,” the Dutchman said of the 28-year-old’s cynical foul.
“He did it too unfriendly and that is maybe his biggest mistake.
“It is a great miss because he plays very well.”
But the former Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona manager also praised his side’s resolute spirit towards the end of a tense fixture.
“You have to fight, fight and fight and I’m very pleased with the attitude of my players,” he added.
“They have fought until the end and after the match I told them [when you do that] you shall always be rewarded with a good result.”
Image courtesy of MUTV, via YouTube, with thanks