Luke Shaw had top class chat with Jadon Sancho before Man Utd penalty
Erik ten Hag determined to give fans second piece of silverware
Luke Shaw has saluted the courage shown by Jadon Sancho in Sunday’s Wembley penalty shootout against Brighton, insisting it was a “massive” moment for the Manchester United forward. Few of those who put their hand up for a spot-kick as United fired their way into an FA Cup final had as much riding on it as Sancho.
The United attacker had missed from 12 yards at the same ground for England in the European Championship final in 2021. In addition he has generally struggled to justify his big-money move to Old Trafford in the same summer, taking time away this season to deal with “physical and mental issues”.
Shaw, was standing next to Sancho prior to him taking his penalty, said he urged his countryman to be confident as he prepared to take his turn. “I was next to him and I said whatever happens happens, just be confident. It’s part of football, things happen,” said Shaw.
“It showed character massively and it showed amazing confidence to step up.” Sancho’s £85million capture from Borussia Dortmund has not yet proved to be the success either player or club had hoped for.
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In two seasons Sancho has delivered only flashes of the talent United believed they were getting with just eight goals and five assists to date. Sancho’s form saw him drop out of the England reckoning prior to the World Cup – a blow he did not take well.
And he has at times struggled to adapt to the rigorous demands of Erik ten Hag with issues surrounding timekeeping, training and a drop in his physical condition. Sancho missed United’s World Cup warm weather training camp in early December with “physical and mental issues” instead training on his own in the Netherlands.
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Brighton vs Manchester United in pictures
But the hope is that Sunday’s show of courage in a pivotal win for United might provide a spark for the remainder of the campaign. Shaw hopes Sunday’s win, setting up an all-Manchester final against Pep Guardiola’s City, will also prove pivotal for their season.
“The win was really important. As players in the back of our mind was that at the start of this week, it was the biggest week of the season,” said the defender. “There was there was no doubt about it – a massive game in the Europa League and then of course this. It will have defined our season.
“I think if we get knocked out both of them, then the season looks different. But this was a massive game, a massive opportunity to get into another final against a very good side and one I think everyone’s going to look forward to being involved in.”
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