Man United beat Fulham on Sunday before the international break and the players looked tired, despite winning the game.
Like Shaw has admitted Manchester United’s players might have been struggling with a bit of fatigue against Fulham.
Since the resumption of football after the World Cup, United has essentially played two games a week for three months. The fixture list has been unrelenting and it seemed to have finally taken a toll against Fulham in the FA Cup.
United played Fulham on Sunday afternoon, just three days after defeating Real Betis in Spain in the Europa League, and Erik ten Hag’s side looked to be heading out of the competition before Fulham threw the game away by receiving two red cards.
Willian, who handled the ball in the box to deny a goalscoring opportunity, and Aleksandar Mitrovic were sent off in chaotic scenes, whilst manager Marco Silva was also given his marching orders for protesting the penalty decision.
Shaw, speaking to MUTV after the game, reflected on the eventful 90 minutes and he admitted United wasn’t at its best. The defender said the performance lacked intensity and also identified fatigue as a possible explanation for the display.
“I think if we’re honest, it wasn’t our best performance today,” Shaw said. “I think maybe you could see a bit of fatigue, we lacked intensity, we lacked energy and I think that showed a lot in the first 60 minutes, we were struggling at times.
“Can’t take anything away from Fulham, I think they’re a really good side and they made it difficult for us. But I think in these competitions, it’s not always about how you perform. The most important thing is the win and gets through.
“We did that today and another trip to Wembley, which we’re looking forward to. When it comes down to the game, we all have to be ready, there can’t be too many excuses [fixture list] but if you watched the game, you could probably see that [fatigue]
“I think on the pitch, maybe the lads did feel that too. It wasn’t our best day at the office, but the result was an important one and maybe a bit of luck on our side today, which we haven’t had in recent times with referee decisions.
“It’s nice to have a big referee decision today. He’s [De Gea] always ready to make important saves he did that again today”