Friday 24 May 2019

Jose Mourinho makes public his decision on Paul Pogba as he reflects on a shock Carabao Cup exit

Jose Mourinho has confirmed Paul Pogba will not captain Manchester United again so long as he is manager
Jose Mourinho has confirmed Paul Pogba will not captain Manchester United again so long as he is manager
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho confirmed he will not consider Paul Pogba to lead Manchester United as captain again after he watched his side crash out of the Carabao Cup against Frank Lampard's Derby.

A missed penalty from Phil Jones ended a dramatic shoot-out at Old Trafford, with Mourinho confirming after the game that he has removed Pogba from a vice-captaincy role following negative comments to the media last weekend.

The French World Cup winner suggested United need to 'attack, attack, attack' when they play at Old Trafford as he hinted Mourinho's negative tactics were restricting the team's ambition and Mourinho has been quick to respond with a very public punishment for one of his star players.

While insisting he has had no fall-out with Pogba, Mourinho admitted the player will not longer be considered to captain the team, in a move that will heighten suspicions of a power battle between player and manager.

"The only truth is that I made the decision of Pogba not to be the second-captain anymore," stated Mourinho, who left Pogba out of his side for the game against Derby.

"No fall out. The person who made the decision to be second-captain was also me. Just one decision which I don’t have to explain."

The move looks certain to dominate the increasingly chaotic agenda around United, with Mourinho's own future as the club's manager under a cloud after their Carabao Cup exit.

This was the competition that gave Mourinho his first trophy as United manager in 2017, but he has failed to make progress since that opening season and was forced to admit for a second game in succession that his side were beaten by opponents showing greater desire.

"We didn't score when we could and we could in the first half," he reflected. "We had situations to kill it and at half-time I repeat the same words in the last match. Their dressing room had belief and we needed to go and kill the game, which we didn't.

"We couldn't be dominant in the second half and only after they scored did they have the reaction. I don't like this reaction. I want to go for it.

"I don't criticise the team, but the truth is the opponents start the second half better than us. When I saw we were coming to the sixth and seventh penalty with Phil Jones and (Eric) Bailly, I knew we were in trouble."

Mourinho's despair was contrasted by Lampard's joy, as he pulled-off the highest profile win of his fledgling management career against the manager who helped him to a succession of trophies during their time together at Chelsea.

derby.jpg
Soccer Football - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Derby County - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 25, 2018 Derby County players celebrate after Jack Marriott scores their second goal Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

"I'm shell shocked. What a performance," declared Lampard. "To go down early at Old Trafford and play as well as they did was superb. We had the personality to take penalties and play the way we did. I am a proud manager.

"It was the easiest selection I have had, the players were superb against Brentford and they deserved the chance to play at Old Trafford. I wanted to bring a team who could really compete. I am so proud of them.

"I am trying to build a group to be successful and nights like this are incredible. To go against world-class players and play that way, it's right up there.

"Harry Wilson and Mason Mount were fantastic. They are going to go a long way in this game."

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