Jose Mourinho has admitted he “may have been too harsh” on Luke Shaw during their time together at Manchester United.
The Portuguese coach has been slammed over his handling of defender Shaw, who was the regular target for public criticism by his old manager.
Shaw spoke out about his relationship with Mourinho during Euro 2020, telling reporters: “There is no hiding that we didn’t get on.”
And it seems Mourinho is now looking to extend an olive branch to Shaw as he praised the 25-year-old’s performances for England and conceded his hardline approach may have been over the top.
Speaking on TalkSport after the tournament had concluded, Mourinho explained how he often tried to “create friction” and “put pressure” on players to get the best out of them, adding: “I always try to find what I can see as the weakness of the player and sometimes I’m successful, other times I’m not.”
Discussing Shaw, he said: “Maybe I was too harsh with him, maybe he was not ready for that.
“The injury was such an incredible injury but I think in this moment the country looks to him and deservedly as a proper left-back for the national team from my side I can only say congratulations to him because he did it by himself for sure, with the coaches of the club and the national team.
“I think that he has more to give because his potential is good and now he is defending well and knows how to defend inside which was a weakness for him and when he goes forward the team loses the ball, his recovery back shows how much better intensity [he has] going forward, more intensity, more crosses. I think he was good.”
Shaw scored after just two minutes to put England into a quick-fire lead against Italy, grabbing the fastest goal in Euro 2020 final history in the process.
Sadly England were not able to hold on as Italy slowly grew into the game and eventually pulled level after 67 minutes through Leonardo Bonnucci’s tap-in.
Both sides tired as the game wore on and could not be separated even after extra time.
It then boiled down to a shootout as Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their spot kicks to hand the title to Italy in another crushing disappointment for the Three Lions.
But Gareth Southgate revealed after the game that he had hand-picked England’s takers and took full responsibility for the defeat.
“I chose the penalty takers based on what we’ve done in training and nobody is on their own,” England’s manager said. “We’ve won together as a team and it’s absolutely on all of us in terms of not being able to win the game tonight.
“But in terms of the penalties, that’s my call and totally rests with me.”