Luke Shaw’s determination to help Manchester United get back to fighting for trophies on a regular basis is matched by the defender’s desire to play in a final after missing the last four.
Having endured a topsy-turvy time since leaving Southampton in 2014, the 24-year-old is looking sharp for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as they look to end the season on a high.
United are pushing for Champions League qualification, and remain in the hunt for FA Cup and Europa League glory – competitions that Shaw has seen his team-mates win from the sidelines.
Injuries kept him out of the 2016 FA Cup final triumph as well as the following year’s Europa League win, while Jose Mourinho overlooked the full-back for the 2017 EFL Cup final victory and 2018 FA Cup final defeat.
“It is a massive ambition for me,” Shaw said ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second leg against Club Brugge.
“Obviously I was there for the Europa League final and around it. The feeling, even though I wasn’t on the pitch, in the dressing room after was a feeling I’ve not felt and wanted more of.
“Of course, I wasn’t involved and I think that’s what’s pushing me on even more to try and help us get into this final and be in finals because we’re Manchester United. We should be in finals. We should be in all competitions until the end.
“Look, we’re going to keep fighting. We are very confident at the moment and very focused on the job we have tomorrow, so we need to go into this game full of confidence, which I think the boys are.
“We need to get a result. They’re a great team but of course we want to get as far as possible in this competition.”
Philippe Clement says Club Brugge will need “something bigger than a miracle” at Old Trafford.
Clement had said Club Brugge needed a “miracle” even before last week’s first leg and the incline on the uphill battle has only steepened due to some key absentees compounding the score draw.
Last week’s goalscorer Emmanuel Dennis is out, as well as captain Ruud Vormer and Eder Balanta, while highly-rated Krepin Diatta is a doubt.
Head coach Clement has warned his squad about United’s talent – “if you give your finger, they take your arm” – and knows how big a challenge awaits at Old Trafford.
“I made one mistake before the two games,” the former Coventry player said.
“I said qualifying would be a miracle. Because of this (number of absentees) I need to find a bigger word than that.
“We need something extra there, so we’re going to try to take the maximum out of that and do something bigger than a miracle with a young squad who are less experienced but will have a great experience to play this game.
“These are other circumstances than to play in Bruges, here in the Theatre of Dreams.
“But let the young squad dream, let the coach dream and let the staff dream and all the club and the supporters”
Diatta’s continued absence would be welcome news to United boss Solskjaer, who said the 21-year-old has the “X factor”.
“He’s been very, very important for us this season,” Clement said. “He has a specific role in the team also.
“So, he can be very important but, yeah, he’s been injured, he is coming out of injury.
“It’s medical staff who will decide more the minutes he will play than me.”