Sunday 22 September 2019

'I want to thank him for that' - Paul Pogba with a message for Jose Mourinho as he looks to the future with Man United

CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 22: Manchester United player Paul Pogba celebrates after the 5th goal during the Premier League match at Cardiff City Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 22: Manchester United player Paul Pogba celebrates after the 5th goal during the Premier League match at Cardiff City Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Pogba has offered up his first public comments on Jose Mourinho's sacking as Manchester United manager, as he thanked his former boss for helping him to improve 'as a person'.

Mourinho's tempestuous relationship with Pogba was viewed as one of the reasons why United chiefs opted to terminate the manager's contract last Tuesday, but the French World Cup winners offered up polite words the Portuguese tactician after he returned to Premier League action in their 5-1 win against Cardiff.

"We won trophies with Jose and I want to thank him for that," said Pogba, who was accused of posting a sarcastic message on his Twitter account directed at Mourinho, and later deleted, less than an hour after the club confirmed the manager's departure.

"He makes me improve, as a person as well, and that's it. That's the past, I want to thank him for that. I'm sure that is the same for all the players and now we are looking forward to the next game."

Pogba also hailed his side's improved performance under interim boss Ole Gunner Solskjaer, as they scored five goals for the first time since Alex Ferguson's final game in charge in 2013.

"The performance of the team was great and we are happy that the first game of the manager starts like this," he added. "It's important now to carry on like that.

"We cannot play like this and win with five goals and then the next game lose."

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Paul Pogba, bottom, and Ashley Young celebrate (Nick Potts/PA)

Meanwhile, Solskjaer saluted his side's win at his former club Cardiff, as his reign as the club's temporary boss got off to a flying start.

"The attitude and application of the boys when you go out there and see them, the attitude has been fantastic, the dressing room, the way they approached this game.

"It's been a difficult week for everyone and to get the focus and perform as well as they did impress.

"I'm pleased with all of them - every single one of them - but of course it's a threat.

"When you've got Martial and Jesse Lingard down either side, Rashford up top with Paul supporting them, it's exhilarating to watch and as long as we keep that standard up we'll keep up picking points."

Solskjaer is excited to see what serious time on the training pitch brings and is hopeful about United's chances of clawing back the gap to the Champions League spots.

"Well, we'll take one game at a time but we're eight points behind and we've caught up teams before at this club," he said.

"Now, though, we've got to catch up a couple, but our job is to take one game at a time.

"Don't look too far ahead but we always play well in second half of the season. Man United teams always do."

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