Tuesday 18 December 2018

Jose Mourinho on rumours of Paul Pogba's imminent return...and his plea to Manchester United fans

Jose Mourinho has dismissed rumours Paul Pogba is set for a quick return to action
Jose Mourinho has dismissed rumours Paul Pogba is set for a quick return to action
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho has given the biggest indication yet that midfielder Paul Pogba is still some way off a return to first team action, after insisting he 'doesn't know' when the Frenchman will be back in his team.

Pogba has not played since picking up a hamstring injury against FC Basel in the Champions League on September 12th, with Mourinho suggesting his club record signing had suffered a 'long term' problem.

Reports earlier this month suggested Pogba was making better than expected progress in his recovery, with his social media posts showing him working his way back to fitness fuelling the hope of United fans that he would be back in action sooner than expected.

Yet Mourinho has now stressed he is not aware of a comeback date for Pogba, as he hinted defender Marcos Rojo may return to action ahead of his midfield talisman.

When asked when he expected Pogba to be available again, Mourinho offered up this response: "I have no idea. Honestly. I am not in control of his recovery process. He is not training with me. He is on individual work and when a player is on individual work I cannot predict.

"I would expect Marcos Rojo to return after the international break because he is training with me. But with Paul I have no idea."

Paul Pogba of ManchesterUnited reacts to being forced off through injury during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and FC Basel at Old Trafford on September 12, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Paul Pogba of ManchesterUnited reacts to being forced off through injury during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and FC Basel at Old Trafford on September 12, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

It now seems clear that Pogba will not be back for United's Champions League game against Benfica on Tuesday and he must also be a big doubt for the vital Premier League clash at Chelsea next weeekend.

Mourinho also questioned United fans who had been critical of striker Romelu Lukaku, after his barren run in front of goal extended to five matches after Saturday's 1-0 win against Tottenham.

Lukaku set up the winning goal for Anthony Martial against Spurs, with Mourinho suggesting some of the club's supporters have been too critical of the Belgian striker in the last month.

“They pay the ticket they can do what they want. They can boo a player that doesn’t deserve to be booed, they can boo a player who is working like an animal, even though the game is not going in his direction.

"They can boo – they pay their tickets, they can boo the manager.”

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