Monday 12 November 2018

'Do I look sad?' - Paul Pogba breaks his silence on Jose Mourinho's decision to remove vice-captaincy role

Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba speaks during a press conference at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin on November 6, 2018 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group H football match Juventus vs Manchester United . (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP)
Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba speaks during a press conference at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin on November 6, 2018 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group H football match Juventus vs Manchester United . (Photo by Isabella BONOTTO / AFP)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Pogba has insisted he is happy at Manchester United and dismissed suggestions that his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho is strained.

The French World Cup winner returns to former club Juventus on for a vital Champions League game on Wednesday night after a turbulent 2018 for the player who left the Turin giants to return for a second spell at United in a world record £89m deal in the summer of 2016.

Mourinho stripped Pogba of his vice-captaincy duties and there have been months of reports of a rift between the pair, but Pogba faced up to the Italian media and did a good job of claiming he is content at Old Trafford.

"Do I look sad? Obviously, yes, I'm happy," said Pogba. "Like I said again, I am really happy to come back (to United).

"I was really happy to come back to Manchester United, wearing this shirt, playing for this team because it is a big club.

"Obviously when you are playing in a big club like that there is always talk about this club and we know anything can go on, but on the pitch, always happy, always with a smile, fighting for my team-mates, fighting for my team, fighting for my club, fighting for the fans.

"That's all I do and, yes, I am really happy to do that. I do what he tells me to do. I'm the player, he is the boss and I play for him with happiness."

Pogba told reporters last month that he was not allowed to speak to the media after some outspoken comments appeared to infuriate Mourinho, but it seems he has put those incidents behind him.

"Choosing to come back to Manchester United first of all was my choice," he continued. "Juventus were playing Champions League and Manchester were playing Europa League, so I knew first of all I wouldn't play Champions League and I was very happy.

"I made my choice and I don't regret it at all. I know Manchester in the last few years have not been at the top, but I came back just to help the team try to come back at the top, so we are on the way.

"A lot of players came and we have a lot of goals, so for me it's not strange. It's a choice and I don't regret it all. I'm very happy to come back to Manchester United, to play, to wear the shirt and everything and I'm sure we will come back to the best."

Pogba turned in an impressive performance in front of the media, as he urged United to live up to their reputation in a week will include the game against Juventus and a Premier League game at local rivals Manchester City on Sunday.

"Everybody needed to realise that we are Manchester United and obviously we have to play like that," added Pogba.

"Before that it was really bad. I think we didn't have any confidence and stuff like that on the pitch, like altogether we maybe didn't give enough - something like that.

"But after this game (against Newcastle) we went to national team, we came back and played very well against Chelsea (in a 2-2 draw).

"I think we had a very good performance, all the team, we all play together. I think that's what changed and when you play together it's always easier."

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