Monday 22 July 2019

Chris Hughton: Brighton have no special plan to shackle Paul Pogba

Pogba cost £89million from Juventus in 2016.

Paul Pogba is reportedly unhappy at Old Trafford (Nick Potts/PA)
Paul Pogba is reportedly unhappy at Old Trafford (Nick Potts/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Chris Hughton admits Brighton are wary of the “wonderful” talents of Paul Pogba but do not have a specific plan to try and shackle him.

Pogba produced a captain’s performance as Manchester United started the Premier League season with victory over Leicester last Friday.

The influential 25-year-old, who helped France to World Cup success in the summer, is set to retain the armband when Jose Mourinho’s side visit Brighton on Sunday.

“He’s a very, very good player, there’s no doubt so we have to be guarded against that tactically,” said Albion boss Hughton.

“But no special measures.

“He’s capable of having a very good season. I think he showed that in the summer, I think he’s showed that in good periods at United.

“I think he’s a wonderful athlete, can certainly break very, very well from midfield and I think what he has shown is a passing ability that he’s got.

“He’s a wonderful all-round footballer.”

Pogba’s relationship with United manager Mourinho has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, with the player reportedly unhappy at Old Trafford.

After scoring from the penalty spot in the 2-1 win over the Foxes, he claimed that “there are things that I cannot say otherwise I will get fined” in his post-match interview.

Mourinho has since said he has never been happier with the midfielder, signed from Juventus for £89million two years ago.

Hughton believes disagreements between coaches and players are a common occurrence in the game and thinks high-profile ones will always attract more attention.

“It’s just part and parcel of a manager’s role,” he said.

“Our main responsibility is to win football matches but around that you have to manage a team of players and there are good moments, bad moments, tough moments, easier moments.

“It just happens that some are highlighted more than others.”

Sunday’s televised clash is the Seagulls’ first home game since they memorably beat United 1-0 in May to secure their top-flight status.

Hughton feels his team must produce a similar display to avoid defeat.

“Most people would certainly remember the home game against them towards the end of the season,” he added.

“And they’ll remember it for obviously the good parts of it.

“We will need to get somewhere near that performance to get a result.”

Albion will be without captain Bruno due to a hamstring injury but could hand a debut to former Valencia defender Martin Montoya.

Colombia winger Jose Izquierdo remains unavailable due to a lack of fitness, while Romania forward Florin Andone is out with a groin problem.

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