Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has restored the confidence and freedom they lacked towards the end of Jose Mourinho’s tenure and the Norwegian deserves to take over full time, midfielder Paul Pogba has said.
Former United striker Solskjaer has rejuvenated the team since replacing the sacked Mourinho in December, helping them win 10 out of the 13 Premier League games since his appointment and reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.
“We want him to stay. The results have been great. I have a great relationship with him, he has a great relationship with the players,” Pogba told Sky Sports.
“When a player is happy, he wants to keep being happy. Solskjaer deserves it. He knows the club, he knows everything about the club. He is a really happy coach that gave confidence back to the players.
“This gave us the freedom to play and enjoy football again because maybe we lost that with the results that we had before.”
Despite winning the World Cup with France last year, Pogba struggled for form under Mourinho who benched him, but the 26-year-old is back to his best under Solskjaer with nine goals and seven assists in all competitions.
“Maybe we lost confidence, maybe things went wrong. A lot of talking outside that we weren’t used to,” Pogba said, reflecting on the final part of Mourinho’s tenure.
“I don’t like to talk about the past. I like to talk about the future because that’s what matters. We’re better now and the results have been brilliant.”
United are fifth in the Premier League with 58 points from 30 matches and within three points of third-placed Tottenham Hotspur. They take on Barcelona in the last-eight of the Champions League next month.
France ready to do their job in Moldova, says Pogba
France’s trip to face Moldova in Chisinau might be far from the glitter of a World Cup but they will be just as motivated for their first Euro 2002 qualifier, midfielder Paul Pogba said on Wednesday. Le Bleus have played six games – four in the Nations League – since beating Croatia 4-2 to win the 2018 World Cup but Friday’s Group H opener will be their first leading to a major competition.
“It’s true that it’s not so easy to come back and to have new goals right away after winning the World Cup,” Pogba told a news conference on Wednesday. “But we have to, it’s our job. And we have to remain professional. But now we’re going right into the competition, it’s the qualifiers. We want to win, we want to be the first in the group.”
France were drawn with Moldova, Albania, Turkey, Andorra and Iceland, who they face at the Stade de France on Monday.
The top two qualify for the finals, which are being staged across 12 countries. Coach Didier Deschamps called up Kingsley Coman after the Bayern Munich forward was omitted from the World Cup squad.
The 22-year-old is determined to play at Euro 2020. “It’s never easy, it can be easy if we make it easy,” he told reporters. “We have to go into all the matches fully focused and stay motivated.
“I think the team is still hungry for trophies. But to do great things we first have to qualify.”