Shaw and Dalot say Man United must make fast start as they meet Wolves in season opener

Defenders determined to kick off Premier League campaign with a bang

Manchester United's Luke Shaw, left, and Diogo Dalot say it is vital that Erik ten Hag's side make a strong start against Wolves. PA
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Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot say Manchester United must come out of the blocks flying this season if they are to achieve their trophy ambitions.

Erik ten Hag's side face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in their Premier League opener on Monday and left-back Shaw says it is imperative there is no repeat of last year's stuttering start.

United lost to Brighton & Hove Albion and then Brentford in their opening two Premier League matches last season, which saw them slump to the bottom of the table.

“It’s really important to get off to a good start,” the England international told the club's website. “We know how important a good start is.

“Last season, we started way too slow – we didn’t start well at all. So I think we’ve been speaking about that.

“We all feel very sharp, we’ve finished pre-season now so we’re ready and it’s about making sure we start strong, start well and get maximum points on the board.”

Right-back Dalot also stressed that a good opener against Wolves, who appointed Gary O'Neil to replace Julen Lopetegui shortly before the start of the season, is paramount.

“I think the pre-season set us up well, in a good mood energy wise to start the season well and we know the importance of starting well and winning the first game,” the Portugal international said

“It can give us momentum for the next couple of games and we are fully focused on Wolves to start the season well.

“The same as every season, I try to get as much preparation as I can in pre-season and work hard, like my teammates, and then be ready to play.

“That’s why I’m here, that’s why I play for this club, a good season last one, but now we want to step up, everybody. Every individual wants to step up a little bit more, me included.”

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Shaw said he is confident United will have a successful campaign.

“I have high expectations,” he said. “You look towards this season, I think it’s a big season for all of us.

“I think my aim for the start of the season is for us to win as many trophies as possible.

“Everyone has ambitions of winning titles. There’s no secret in that. The ambition has to be as high as possible.

“We believe we can win every trophy we’re involved in, and it’s down to us to go out on the pitch and show that ambition, show that quality that I think this team has, to win trophies. We have to be doing that.”

Shaw is also happy with the club's summer signings Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojland.

While Hojland is not in immediate contention to start due to injury, the others have impressed Shaw during the closed season.

“They’ve been brilliant,” he said. “I think the good thing was that Andre and Mase were able to come away on pre-season, get to know the lads more, so made them settle in a bit more.

“They’re going to add a lot to this squad. They have experience of winning things as well and it’s always good to have that kind of balance of what they bring into the squad.”

Updated: August 13, 2023, 3:17 PM