Luke Shaw: England defender ready to play 90 minutes at Euro 2024 (2024)

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England defender Luke Shaw says he is fit and ready to play 90 minutes at Euro 2024.

Shaw, the only specialist left-back in Gareth Southgate’s squad, did not play in England’s first four matches of the Euros because of a hamstring injury.

But the Manchester United player came on as a second-half substitute during the quarter-final victory over Switzerland - and says he is now ready to play a bigger part in England’s campaign.

"Of course, I think I am [fit and ready to play 90 minutes],” Shaw said. “That is down to Gareth's decision. I feel fit and ready to go."

Shaw’s appearance from the bench after 78 minutes against Switzerland marked his first competitive football since suffering his injury in February.

Southgate had hoped to have Shaw back during the group stage in Germany, but his recovery took longer than expected and has meant Kieran Trippier deputising on the left side of defence.

"The last four months have been really tough,” Shaw said of his injury problems. “At the start I was expected to come back a lot sooner, but I went through a lot of setbacks.

“It was really nice to get on the other night and get some minutes - I've been itching.

"I think before the squad got announced, we had a plan to come back around the second or third game but, unfortunately, things didn't go as planned and I was pushed back a game or so.

"Of course, it's tough. They were really there for me, not just Gareth and Steve [Holland, England assistant manager] but the medical staff as well. I have a lot to thank them for."

Shaw has had 'strange' Euros

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Shaw has had to sit and watch from the sidelines as England reached the semi-finals of a second successive European Championship.

The 28-year-old has been focusing on his recovery, to the extent that he pulled out of a scheduled media conference before the Switzerland game as he did not want to speak to the press before he had got back on the field of play.

"It's been strange,” he said of his Euro 2024 experience. “It's also been difficult as well, going to games, feeling the atmosphere. Not putting the shirt on or being involved in games was hard, but that motivated me more to work back.

"The atmosphere in those games spurred me on.

"I was of course excited to come back, but the priority was to help us get back into the game and get us through."

Without Shaw, England have not always impressed at Euro 2024 – drawing their final two group matches before going behind in both knockout games so far.

But brilliant equalisers by Jude Bellingham against Slovakia and Bukayo Saka versus Switzerland have helped them through.

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'I don't understand the criticism of Southgate'

Image source, Getty Images

Shaw knows what it is like to score a big goal in a European Championship – he opened the scoring for England in the Euro 2020 final against Italy inside three minutes with a powerful volley.

But watching from the bench, he says he has been put through the wringer just as much as the England fans.

"I felt more nervous watching than playing - it is quite tough,” he said.

"I never once thought that we were going to go out. We have to believe right to the end.

"Good moments like Jude's [equaliser] can happen, but it's down to us to deliver that on the pitch.

"Game by game we are getting better - there's things we can still improve on but we're looking good."

Shaw has become a key player under Southgate, starting every match at the 2022 World Cup, and defended his manager over the criticism he has received for his selections and style of play.

"I don't understand the criticism,” Shaw said of Southgate, who has become the first man to lead England to three major tournament semi-finals.

“What he's done for the country and us players, he's taken us to the next level. No manager has been as successful as he has recently.

"Us players love him - he's exactly what we need. He allows us to go out on the pitch and be our best. He's shown a lot of faith and trust in picking me."

Related Topics

  • UEFA Euro 2024
  • Football
  • England Men's Football Team
Luke Shaw: England defender ready to play 90 minutes at Euro 2024 (2024)

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