Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: Pogba can explain his form

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho: Pogba can explain his form

Jose Mourinho says it is down to Paul Pogba to explain his recent underwhelming form, with the Manchester United manager insisting injury has had nothing to do with his downturn in performances.

The 25-year-old has not managed to justify the fanfare of his world-record return from Juventus as much as the Red Devils would surely like, but things had been on the up until injury derailed a fine start to his second campaign.

Pogba has not been the same since returning from his 10-week hamstring lay-off in November and had further spells on the sidelines through fitness and form, but Mourinho insists that is not a hangover from his injury.

"This season and also last season (he had a bad injury)," the United boss said of a player who scored and assisted another for France against Russia on Tuesday.

"I think he is very fine after the injury. It was a difficult injury, it was an injury that other players, other clubs, other medical assessments, they end in surgery.

"His option with the medical opinions was not to go to the surgery table and his recovery was really, really good and I think he is more than fine in relation to the recovery from the injury, which is a muscular area sometimes where you have a recurrence.

"In his case, not at all."

Put to Mourinho that Pogba has not been the same player since returning, Mourinho retorted: "It's nothing to do with his injury. His recovery was good."

When asked what it is do with, the Portuguese said: "Ask him. Ask him when you have a chance what he thinks about it."

Mourinho added: "I work (to get the best out of him). It's the only thing I can do. I cannot do anything else."

Last month Mourinho denied "lies" about their relationship amid speculation of unhappiness on both sides, but said at the same time that Pogba "didn't play well" in recent matches.

That was a rather restrained critique from a manager who has not held back on some of his other players, most notably Luke Shaw.

The 22-year-old has endured large stretches out of the squad and been subjected to public criticism, like when he was hauled off midway through the FA Cup quarter-final win against Brighton before the international break.

Shaw was annoyed by those comments and to be taken off at half-time, when he reportedly asked Mourinho in the dressing room "why are you always picking on me?"

"A report (said) that Luke asked me why I changed him? I told him. He didn't ask me the question," Mourinho said of that report. "I told him.

"What happened since then? Nothing. I am the coach. I make the changes I want to do when I want to do.

"If I want to change the player in minute five I change the player in minute five. If I want to change in minute 98, I change in minute 98.

"The moment when a new rule comes to football that forbids managers to do that then I become a pundit, not a manager. Nothing happened."

Shaw's United future looks in jeopardy despite Mourinho saying not so long ago that he does not "see many left-backs better than this Luke Shaw".

"It's true," Mourinho said when comment was put to him, before confirming the left-back would be in the matchday squad to face Swansea on Saturday.

The United boss also expect the England international to stay at Old Trafford this summer, but left the exit door open ajar.

"Yeah, I think (he will be here next season)," Mourinho said as he left the press conference.

"But I always say that door is open for everyone, so no problem for him but I think so. He's selected. He's in the 18."

- Press Association and Digital Desk

More in this Section

Venue changed for Liverpool’s first match in Club World CupVenue changed for Liverpool’s first match in Club World Cup

Ralph Hassenhuttl puts Southampton improvement down to rediscovering identityRalph Hassenhuttl puts Southampton improvement down to rediscovering identity

Spurs down Kings in overtimeSpurs down Kings in overtime

Anthony Joshua ‘grateful for having a second opportunity’ against Andy Ruiz JrAnthony Joshua ‘grateful for having a second opportunity’ against Andy Ruiz Jr


This Christmas remember that there is no such thing as cheap food.Buy local: Use your LOAF

As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner