By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 21/04/17 12:08am
Jose Mourinho praised the attitude of Luke Shaw
Jose Mourinho praised the mentality of Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford after Man Utd’s nervy Europa League quarter-final victory over Anderlecht on Thursday.
Rashford struck the winner in extra-time to send United through 3-2 on aggregate following a 2-1 victory, while Shaw played all 120 minutes and put in an impressive performance at Old Trafford.
Mourinho said Shaw played through the pain barrier, something that the manager was delighted with, and also insisted Rashford’s attitude is the reason he has been played so much despite going through a barren period of scoring form before this month.
Mourinho said Shaw played through the pain barrier
“I always trust the players with special mentality,” Mourinho said. “Always trust them. Luke Shaw did something new today, it means a lot for me.
“After 90 minutes, before I know that I have to change Zlatan, he had cramp, I had Ashley Young ready to come on, and he told me I’m going to play for 30 minutes with cramps, no problem.
“He said if you need to make a change in another position I am ready for it.
“These kind of things make me trust the players. There are technical aspects, but the mentality is the reason why I kept Marcus on the team all the time, because of that.
Marcus Rashford celebrates his winner on Thursday night
“At the performance level, he was months without scoring, but my trust on the boy is always based on his mentality. We have great examples of fighters, with the right mentality.”
Manchester United were wasteful for the most part at Old Trafford, missing several opportunities to see off Anderlecht before and after extra-time.
Mourinho reserved praise for the Belgian side and their travelling fans, while also taking delight in the fact the Europa League dream, and therefore automatic qualification to the Champions League, is still alive.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had given United the lead
“I’m relieved, I’m happy,” he added. “It was a difficult game, difficult opponents, so I’m tired, I imagine the players are more tired than me, but we are in the draw and we still have the dream to win the competition.
“[The Anderlecht fans] were fantastic, they were behind their team for two hours. They pushed them when they were up, they pushed them when they were down. They pushed them in the last minutes of the game when they were dead but still pushing.
“The team played very well, especially for an hour. I always have a lot of respect for people that travels to support their team, and I think it’s a beautiful way for Anderlecht to be out of the competition, with honour and fight until the end, and I wish them the best for the Belgian league.”