Monday 16 September 2019

Manchester United’s Ashley Young calls reports Paul Pogba celebrated Jose Mourinho’s sacking ‘absolute lies’

Manchester United's Paul Pogba REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
Manchester United's Paul Pogba REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

Mark Critchley

Ashley Young has claimed suggestions that Manchester United players celebrated Jose Mourinho’s dismissal are “absolute lies” and he believes the players must take responsibility for their former manager’s demise.

Mourinho was sacked by United on Tuesday following a 3-1 defeat away to Liverpool, with dressing room unrest one of several factors understood to be behind the decision.

It was reported that midfielder Paul Pogba, who had recently been dropped by Mourinho and whose relationship with the Portuguese was strained, had high-fived team-mates in training upon learning the news.

Young, however, refuted those reports in the hours after United’s 5-1 victory over Cardiff City, which saw caretaker manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer claim three points in his first game in charge.

“No celebration at all. Absolute lies,” Young told reporters after the final whistle at the Cardiff City Stadium. “Obviously it was disappointing for the manager to get sacked. In his two-and-a-half years he won trophies.

“We have to take some responsibility for that [his sacking] as we are on the pitch. Like I said we have to move on from that.

“Ole has come in and we were preparing in the right way for a game even though it’s been a crazy week, but as professional players we have to get on with the job in hand and that is what we did today.”

Pogba, meanwhile, thanked Mourinho for improving him as a player during his time at Old Trafford, harking back to United’s League Cup and Europa League triumphs during their first season together.

“We won trophies with Jose and I want to thank him for that,” Pogba said. “We work even if not everything went well. But things went well and we won trophies. He made me improve, as a person as well, and that’s it.

“That’s the past, I went to thank him for that. I’m sure that is the same of all the players and now we are looking forward to the next game.”

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