Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho lauded Luke Shaw for playing through pain in his team’s win over Anderlecht.
Shaw, often criticised this season, played 120 minutes as United edged into the Europa League semi-finals with a 2-1 extra-time win at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Marcus Rashford was the hero with his 107th-minute goal, but the win came at a price for the hosts, who lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo to injuries.
Mourinho was full of praise for Rashford – who now has 10 goals in all competitions this season – and Shaw.
“I always trust the players with special mentality. Always trust them. Luke Shaw did something new today, it means a lot for me,” he told a news conference.
“After 90 minutes, before I know that I have to change Zlatan, he had cramp, I had Ashley Young ready to come on, and he told me I’m going to play for 30 minutes with cramps, no problem.
“He said if you need to make a change in another position I am ready for it.
“These kind of things make me trust the players. There are technical aspects, but the mentality is the reason why I kept Marcus on the team all the time, because of that.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 20, 2017
Rashford had been goalless in the Premier League since September before scoring in back-to-back games earlier this month.
His match-winner sent United into the last four and Mourinho urged his players to retain belief in their ability to go on and win the Europa League.
“It was a difficult game, a difficult opponent, I am tired, I imagine the players are more tired than me,” he said.
“But we are in the draw [on Friday] and we still have the dream to win the competition.”
Celta Vigo, Ajax and Lyon joined United in the semi-finals on Thursday.