Jose Mourinho has told Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling they must “change” if they want to play for Manchester United.
The duo were left out of United’s matchday squad for the 3-1 victory at Swansea, with Mourinho fielding a makeshift back four of Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian.
Smalling missed out due to a foot injury, while Shaw – who Mourinho publicly criticised after the defeat at Watford – has been in and out of the side this season as he attempts to regain form and fitness following his horrific leg break last September.
When asked about the England internationals, Mourinho told MUTV: “Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100% with his pain, Luke Shaw told me this morning that he was not in the condition to play, so we had to build a defensive line.
“Daley Blind has some problems but he put himself available to be on the bench and to try to help the team, so the people that are here are people that I trust for a difficult match.”
“What I mean is that we have players with problems, but we also have players on the pitch who have problems,” he said.
“I have friends from other sports, playing at the highest level. How many times do they play when they are not 100 per cent?
“I have a friend who is a big tennis player and he tells me that he remembers more times when he has played with pain than the times he has played without any pain.
“To compete, you have to work to the limits. It is a cultural thing, for some. But that’s not my culture.”
Mourinho was then asked directly whether Smalling and Shaw have to change to play for him, to which the manager replied: “Exactly, but more than me, Man United. More than me, Man United.”