Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has cleared up any doubt surrounding his decision to substitute Luke Shaw at half-time during Manchester United’s win over Granada on Thursday.
Shaw started left-back in the Europa League quarter-final first leg clash at the Los Cármenes, but was replaced by Alex Telles at the break.
United were already a goal to the good by that stage with Shaw performing solidly, though he did pick up a booking just moments before the teams disappeared down the tunnel.
However, the yellow card did not form part of Solskjaer’s thinking when making his decision, but rather as a precaution due to a concern seemingly over an injury.
“I had to protect Luke,” Solskjaer said, when asked why he had withdrawn his full-back. “But I think and hope he should be okay for the weekend.”
United already have one foot in the semi-finals after Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty added to Marcus Rashford’s earlier strike to take two away goals back to Old Trafford for the return fixture.
Solskjaer will be sweating over Shaw’s fitness though with a tricky test against Tottenham to come on Sunday.
Shaw is also going to be one of three players to miss the second leg against Granada next week due to his accumulation of bookings in the competition.
Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay were also carded and will be suspended, much to Solskjaer’s frustration.
“It was not a perfect night. We got three yellow cards and three suspensions [but] 2-0 is very good result,” he said. “We know how difficult it is to come to Spain.
“It’s created a good starting point for next week’s game – then we’ve got to play well to get a result.
“We want to win every game – football catches you so quickly if you rest.
“We can’t have any other approach. It’s still a young team, a learning team, and we have to improve all the time.”