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Shaw blames himself and Manchester United medical staff for England scare

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Luke Shaw has offered an emotional insight into his season of injury woes, saying that he blames himself and Manchester United’s medical department for the hamstring problems that have threatened the England left-back’s place at Euro 2024.Shaw, who is battling to be fit for England’s second group game against Denmark on 20 June, has not played since going off against Luton on 18 February and was a major doubt to be included in Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad for the tournament.The 28-year-old has had to be mentally resilient and he has been hurt by accusations that he was focused more on being fit for his country than making himself available for United at the end of last season.The reality, Shaw explained, was that he pushed himself too hard in a bid to be fit for the FA Cup final against Manchester City. A setback followed, deepening the defender’s frustration and leaving him “devastated”.Shaw, who is the only left-back in England’s squad, explained that mistakes were made when he went off with the initial injury at half-time against Aston Villa in February. It backfired when he was given the all clear by the medical department to start when United visited Luton in their next game.“I felt something against Aston Villa and came off at half-time at Villa Park,” Shaw said. “It’s kind of ­everyone’s fault. Partly my fault, partly medical staff, I think everyone would admit that. I didn’t train the whole week. The scan came back and there wasn’t too much there. But I didn’t train all week, then trained the day before the game. If the manager asks me to play, I’m never going to say no. I shouldn’t have played.”Shaw is likely to be key to England’s hopes of glory in Germany. Southgate’s back four is already shorn of Harry Maguire, who has not been included in the squad because of a calf injury, and concern around the team’s chances deepened when they fell to a 1-0 defeat by Iceland in their final warm-up match on Friday.It was not the ideal preparation for England, who face Serbia in their Group C opener on 16 June. Southgate has several fitness concerns and he is expected to ask the right-footed Kieran Trippier to fill in for Shaw, who is not back in full training yet.Shaw is likely to be crucial to England’s hopes of success in Germany. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images/ReutersThe positive for Shaw is that he is making encouraging progress. Southgate described him as a “long shot” when he named his provisional 33-man training squad last month. “No one knows the situation, what’s been happening,” Shaw said.“I think people have seen that there was a setback, but I was actually very close to returning to team training. I was, of course, pushing to try and get back for the games and the final and I think I pushed too hard.skip past newsletter promotionafter newsletter promotion“I came back too quick and I actually ended up getting another injury in my hamstring, which was three weeks from the final and they said it was a six-week injury, so that’s why there was that setback. I think people have been getting confused with what’s actually happened because nothing had been said.“I got a few people coming up to me, saying: ‘How can you not be fit for United but fit for England?’ But the circumstances were that I did push to do everything I can to be fit for United, and that’s been really my whole season. It’s been disappointing for me, but I want to do everything I can, first and foremost, for United.“It’s better for me to come out and say what happened, because I think there were a lot of questions over how I could be here and not United. That’s been playing on my mind a little bit because I don’t want people thinking that that’s what I’m doing.”Shaw is optimistic about featuring at the tournament but he is not obsessing about England’s first game. “That’s not really down to me,” he said. “We just go day by day, see how I’m feeling in training. I would love to make the first game, but I don’t want to rush too quickly because realistically I’ve only got one chance. If I feel something, then that’s it. I don’t want that to happen.”

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