Belfast Telegraph

Martial and Shaw given rare chance to impress

By Simon Peach

Jose Mourinho will hand Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw a chance to prove themselves in Manchester United's FA Cup fourth-round clash with Wigan tomorrow.

United set up a Wembley date with Southampton on Thursday night, progressing to the EFL Cup final despite losing their semi-final second leg 2-1 at Hull.

Attention switches to the FA Cup this weekend as 2013 winners Wigan make the short journey to the holders.

Mourinho has pledged to name a strong line-up against the Latics but will call upon his impressive depth, with Martial and Shaw among those set to come in.

Martial's happiness has been questioned recently and the United boss confirmed the Frenchman will get a chance to shine, having been omitted from the last two match day squads.

Asked how the France international took being left out at Hull, Mourinho said: "I don't know. I don't speak with the players about how they take it.

"He will play Sunday and if Sunday he plays magnificently, he will play against Hull in the next match. It's simple."

Shaw is also set to get a chance to prove his worth after returning to the United squad at Hull.

The 21-year-old left-back has not featured since limping off halfway through the EFL Cup quarter-final against West Ham on November 30, but has worked his way back to fitness.

Mourinho confirmed his intention to play Shaw against Wigan, whose manager Warren Joyce knows the Red Devils better than most.

The 52-year-old was at the club from 2008 until last November, when he left his role as coach of United's reserves to take the hotseat at Wigan.

"I worked at the club with him for just a few months but it was enough to know he is a very nice man, a very passionate football man," Mourinho, who has given goalkeeper David de Gea the weekend off, said of Joyce.

"He took the risk, he accepted the challenge. He left a good situation in the club to try and go to what we call men's football.

"For sure, he'll come with a team very aggressive, very well organised defensively.

"We play Hull again two days after Wigan, but I am going to play with a good team - a team with the responsibility to give the fans a good performance at home and the responsibility to try and win against Wigan."

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney still intends to move straight into management at the end of his playing career.

The 31-year-old has no intentions of slowing down after breaking both the England and United all-time scoring records, but already harbours strong off-field ambitions.

England captain Rooney believes the financial comfort of the modern-day top footballer means only the fully committed will chase managerial openings.

"My whole life has been around football, and the minute I finish playing I would like to try and stay in the game and hopefully get the opportunity to manage," Rooney said.

"I think when you get a bit older you start to think a bit more about the game and it's something I'd love to do.

"Players who are playing in this generation do have enough money to not have to go into management, so the ones who want to do it will be successful."

Rooney surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's record United tally of 249 goals with his stunning free-kick that grabbed the Red Devils a late 1-1 Premier League draw at Stoke last Saturday.

But after 15 years of top-flight football and 250 goals for United, Rooney admitted finding the back of the net still provides an unrivalled rush.

"It's an amazing feeling when you score" said Rooney. "The initial feeling, it's like you're playing football under water and when you score you come up for air. And you can hear the crowd, the atmosphere; it's a mad feeling."

Belfast Telegraph


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