After their bitter rivals swept up all available trophies last season, the Red Devils defender vows things will be different this coming campaign
Manchester United will push rivals Liverpool and Manchester City hard for trophies this season, Red Devils defender Luke Shaw has said.
Shaw insists he shared the “hurt” of the United fans watching City march to a domestic treble and Liverpool win the Champions League during the 2018-19 campaign.
It was also an all-English affair in the Europa League, with Chelsea beating Arsenal in Baku to complete a Premier League clean sweep of trophies.
United, in contrast, finished 32 points behind champions City in sixth place after a difficult season that saw Jose Mourinho sacked in December and replaced by former Red Devils striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Last season was so hurtful for everyone. I know the fans were really hurt, but we as a team were very hurt,” said Shaw.
“Last season was a massive disappointment. How other teams were doing as well – especially over the period when we had time off and there were teams winning trophies.
“It was really tough for all of us to take and you couldn’t really enjoy your holidays. You see the Champions League final and the Europa League final and they’re all English teams – it makes you feel even worse and especially the way the finals went. None of us want that to happen again.
“I think that’s why we’ve all come back again with a different mindset and of course we had that break to clear our minds, but now we’re all focused on getting United back to where they belong.”
Solskjaer has pledged to focus on developing young talent as he looks to get United competing for titles again.
Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, both 21, have been brought in from Swansea and Crystal Palace, respectively, while academy graduates Mason Greenwood, James Garner and Tahith Chong have been given chances with the first team in pre-season.
Shaw says that change of approach has given the squad fresh impetus and renewed confidence that the club can challenge their rivals for silverware next term.
“They won’t have it as easy as last season,” Shaw added. “People are probably already doubting us, but they can carry on doing that. For me and for us as a team we know what we are capable of doing and we will have a much better season than last season.
“We need to get back to winning ways, we need to be lifting trophies – let’s start the season right and hopefully we can start off with a good run and keep that spirit going.
“We all believe massively in the squad, the manager and the staff. We want to put last season behind us.
“This pre-season has been really tough for everyone, physically and, at times, so hard mentally. But it has been helping the squad massively.
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“Ole has been more focussed on keeping the round ball, playing out from the back and keeping possession. A lot of times last season we didn’t do that well enough.
“We’ve worked a lot on tactics, pressing-wise. When to go, what sort of moments. The other side of that has been to keep the round ball.
“Just to keep the round ball more and play as a big team, a good team. We want to be winning games, but with possession as well. He’s made his ideas clear.”