The 21-year-old is said to have been playing through the pain barrier for United at Vicarage Road but his plight didn’t prevent Mourinho from firing criticism his way for his role Juan Camilo Zúñiga’s 83rd-minute strike, the hosts’ second of the afternoon.
United boss Mourinho, who has now suffered three consecutive defeats for the first time since managing Porto in 2002, said: “I knew I had a task. But the first Man City goal [during the 2-1 defeat last weekend] and this second goal, you can find incredible similarity.
“Kolarov has the ball in a difficult situation in the corner and my player instead of going up and pressing decides to give him space. Today for the second goal, [Nordin] Amrabat on the right side, our left back is 25 metres distance from him, instead of five metres.
“But even at 25 metres, then you have to jump and go press. But no, we wait. This is a tactical but also a mental attitude. In a couple of weeks, everything like this becomes perfect. That’s my job.”
But a report by The Times now suggests that Mourinho had asked Shaw to play despite suffering a long-standing groin injury, calling into question his decision to criticise the England international so harshly in his post-match press briefing.
Shaw was substituted two minutes after the lapse in judgment and television cameras, for BT Sport, caught the pair exchanging strong words on the visitors’ bench at Vicarage Road with the defender putting forward his case.
The report adds that some United stars have been “shocked” by Mourinho’s treatment of a player with a known frailty to long-term injuries in the past. The Portuguese went close to signing Shaw for Chelsea in 2014 but pulled out of the deal because he didn’t believe it represented value for money.