Luke Shaw has credited Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with turning his career around after a difficult few years with Manchester United.
After moving to United in 2014, Luke Shaw admitted that he struggled to reach his potential in his early years with the Red Devils.
While injury limited Shaw’s playing opportunities under Louis van Gaal, it was the opinion of the Dutchman’s successor that prevented the left-back from performing to his capabilities.
Jose Mourinho publicly criticised Shaw on numerous occasions during his time in charge at Old Trafford and at one stage, it seemed like Shaw would be forced to leave the club but he now appears to be a player reborn.
Shaw has been one of United’s top performers this season and while he doesn’t tend to mention Mourinho by name when discussing his previous struggles, the 25-year-old makes it clear that he meshes better with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer than he did with the Norwegian’s predecessor.
“I don’t want to come across like I was a little kid who could not deal with being put under pressure because at a big club like Manchester United you are always going to be under pressure and under the spotlight. That makes you mentally stronger,” Shaw told Sky Sports.
“But I had no confidence at that time. I was losing my belief. I think that is what changed with Ole. He managed me right and I got my confidence back and I am really enjoying it at the moment.
“Enjoyment and confidence. For me, they are the two biggest things you need on the pitch. You need that belief in your ability to perform at the highest level. I feel I have that now.”
Shaw has praised Solskjaer’s man-management skills and admitted that the former striker maybe shoulders too much responsibility for how his side performs.
But by taking the spotlight away from his players, Solskjaer hopes to allow his team to play with fewer concerns about how they will be portrayed in the media and for Shaw, that is a refreshing change from what he went through prior to Solskjaer’s appointment.
“His man-management is second to none,” Shaw said of the current United boss. “The way he conducts himself in terms of how he speaks to the players, it gets the best out of them. You can see that. He deals with situations perfectly in terms of what is needed, especially at a big club like Manchester United.
“He takes the pressure off the lads and takes it all himself. Sometimes it is not fair because we are the ones on the pitch and we need to take our fair share too. For me, especially, from what I had before Ole came in, it is a total difference. It has pushed me to a new level.”