Shaw sees ‘fringe’ players leading Man Utd trophy charge as attention shifts to Carabao Cup

Luke Shaw Manchester United 2020-21
The Red Devils full-back says every route to major silverware will be taken seriously, but he expects changes to be made in knockout competition

Luke Shaw expects Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to use “fringe” players in Manchester United’s Carabao Cup campaign, but says the Red Devils will be taking every shot at major silverware seriously.

Fresh from playing out a thrilling 3-2 victory over Brighton in the Premier League, another trip to the Amex Stadium is set to be taken in on Wednesday.

A place in the quarter-finals of the League Cup will be up for grabs in that contest, with United eager to keep as many avenues as possible open to tangible success.

No trophies will be written off by the Red Devils, having gone three years without collecting one, and there is a determination on their part to see off the Seagulls.

The games are coming thick and fast, though, in 2020-21 and Shaw believes Solskjaer will rotate in knockout competition.

The United left-back told MUTV: “Of course it’s a competition we want to win, but I think it gives the manager that opportunity to give chances to other players that are on the bench and on the fringe, who are training very hard to get chances.

“I think games like this are perfect for them. It’s good that we’ve got a very strong squad with players who are ready to play and are ready to take their chance. I’m sure the players are looking forward to that on Wednesday.

“Matches are coming thick and fast and, like I say, they’re competitions that we want to be strong in, we want to be winning and be challenging in. But it’s also a chance for players to get game time and sharpness.”

United have already shown that they have a formula for downing Brighton, but will be aware of the need to raise their game for a second meeting with the Seagulls in quick succession.

A thrilling Premier League encounter saw Solskjaer’s side survive a major scare on the south coast, as the hosts hit the woodwork on five occasions before Bruno Fernandes converted a 100th-minute penalty that was awarded after the final whistle had already been blown.

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Shaw said when reflecting on that encounter: “Ups and downs really.

“It was a game that was very important points-wise, although obviously we as players and the manager know we can perform much better. The most important thing was the three points and we got that in the end.

“It felt great to win the game right at the end, we haven’t done that in a while. It’s a good three points for us, but we need to be performing better.”