Saturday 17 March 2018

Paul Pogba responds to criticism of his poor Manchester derby performance

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

Mark Critchley

Paul Pogba is confident that Manchester United will recover from their derby defeat to Manchester City and come back stronger.

The world’s most expensive player put in a muted performance as his side’s cross-town rivals ran out 2-1 winners at Old Trafford.

Pogba has been criticised for his display in the defeat, with some unfavourably comparing him to the Premier League’s second biggest buy Kevin de Bruyne, who was named man of the match.

Read more: The real Jose Mourinho returned with a vengeance after Man United's disjointed derby day display

The 23-year-old has responded positively, however, promising that he and his team-mates will improve.

“The season is just starting, we don't lose, we learn,” he told fans on Instagram. “United we stand."

Jose Mourinho, the United manager, admitted that his team selection had been the root cause of his side’s defeat in the derby.

The Portugese coach made two changes, with Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan starting on the wings, but both were hooked at half-time after disappointing displays.

Read more: Jose Mourinho vows to drop two flops but is ready to give Marcus Rashford first start this season

"I had two or three players in the first half that, if I know what is going to happen, I don't play them. But this is football and sometimes players disappoint managers.

"It's my fault because I'm the manager and it's always my fault because it's my choice.”

Mourinho also admitted that City, managed by his long-term rival Pep Guardiola, were the superior side, but took heart from United’s improvement in the second half.

"I think in the first half they were much better than us. We started the game bad, with some players really below their normal level in terms of their concentration.

"The second half was completely different. We were in control, we were much more dangerous and we had chances to equalise and who knows what would have happened."

(© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

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