Luke Shaw ready to battle for Man United spot after returning for U23s

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has told ESPN FC he is ready to fight for a place in Jose Mourinho's team after returning from injury fitter and fresher.

Shaw played for an hour as United's under-23s drew 1-1 with Swansea at Eight Sports Village on Monday night, while Ashley Young also made his return following a hamstring injury.

It was Shaw's first game for nearly four months after suffering ankle ligament damage playing for the first team against Swansea in April, and it was enough to convince the 21-year-old he is ready whenever Mourinho needs him.

"It was very good. I think me and Ash both really needed that," Shaw said. "I felt like I could have gone on longer but 60 minutes was the aim at the start. We were told we would play 45 to 60 minutes so 60 was great for me. I'm feeling really good and I want to push on from here."

Shaw was even thankful for one heavy, but fair, challenge from Swansea midfielder George Byers.

He said: "One of the lads on the pitch said, 'That mustn't have been good for you,' but I said, 'No, listen, I need to go through this,' because after you've been out for a while, I had it with my other injury before, you need those tackles earlier on than later because sometimes you think about it. I feel strong, I feel like normal and now I just need to keep fit and push on."

Mourinho made a point of including Shaw on trips to Stockholm for the Europa League final, the UEFA Super Cup in Macedonia and the three-week preseason tour of the United States, despite the left-back's injury.

"It was really helpful," Shaw said. "It was great for team bonding. There are new players coming in and everyone needs to get to know each other better because obviously we're going to be on the pitch together at times this season.

"It was nice, but at the same time it was frustrating and a bit sad because you want to be out there on the pitch. The games we played and the players we played against, I wished I was out there playing against them.

"It wasn't to be but we've got very important games this season with the Champions League, big Premier League games and cup games so there are a lot of games and I'll be ready when the manager calls on me."

It is nearly two years since Shaw suffered a broken leg in a Champions League tie with PSV Eindhoven.

He had a spell on the sidelines last season, too, with a groin injury picked up in November hampering his attempts to win over Mourinho.

But having been through the rehabilitation process before, the defender says he feels "more positive" this time.

"It's been tough but I've been through it before and I know how to deal with it," he said. "When I look back at the one I had last time, I think I've came back stronger this time and more positive. Now it's about getting time on the pitch. I'm feeling really good and hungry for this season."

Leicester's visit to Old Trafford on Saturday evening may come too soon for Shaw, but with Premier League, Carabao Cup and Champions League games to come after the international break, he said Mourinho has told his squad that everyone needs to be ready.

"He says that to us," the former Southampton man said. "He tells us all straight what he wants and how it's going to pan out for the games we have. We've got so many games this season and it was the same last season.

"We've had discussions but the main ones we've had so far are about how my injury is, how I'm feeling. I told him straight how I was feeling and that's good.

"I've had some minutes now and I'm feeling really fresh and I can't wait to get started with the first team. The games will be bigger this season because we're back in the Champions League and more of a challenge. We're all up for it.

"Everyone is training hard because everyone wants to be on that pitch in the important games. We're all fighting for a place and now it's my time to fight for my place."

With a World Cup on the horizon next summer, Shaw has also got England ambitions -- but not before he was won back his place at United.

"I'm not looking too far ahead at the moment," he added. "I just want to concentrate on the upcoming games. Hopefully I can get back around the England fold again but it's down to Gareth [Southgate] because I haven't really been playing so it's not my choice. I'm really excited about this season. I'm feeling really happy again and really good on the field."

After watching his teammates record two comfortable wins to sit top of the Premier League table, Shaw accepts he will have to wait for his turn, but he has told Mourinho he is ready whenever an opportunity presents itself.

"It's down to the manager now," he said. "We've had two very impressive 4-0 wins so it's going to be challenging to get back into the team. But that's why I've come to United because I want to be in the team and I want to be playing week in, week out. The challenge is good for me and it will push me. When the manager is ready, I'm ready."