Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

Paul Pogba throws support behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to become Manchester United manager

Solskjaer has transformed the mood and results at Old Trafford, leading the club into the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals and lifting them into contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League

Paul Pogba speaks to the media ahead of France's Euro 2020 qualifier against Moldova. AFP
Paul Pogba speaks to the media ahead of France's Euro 2020 qualifier against Moldova. AFP

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said the entire squad has given their backing to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be given the manager's position on a full-time basis.

Former United striker Solskjaer has transformed the mood and results at Old Trafford, leading the club into the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals and lifting them into contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

When Solskjaer was given the role following the departure of Jose Mourinho in December it was widely assumed he was merely keeping the seat warm for a bigger name but his success has led to a clamour for the appointment to be made full-time and Pogba has now added his voice.

"Of course we want him to stay," the France midfielder told Sky Sports. "The results have been great. I have a great relationship with him, he has a great relationship with the players.

"When a player is happy, he wants to keep being happy. Solskjaer deserves it. He knows the club, he knows everything about the club.

"He is a really happy coach that gave confidence back to the players. This gave us the freedom to play and enjoy football again because maybe we lost that with the results that we had before."

It is a striking contrast to the final months of Mourinho's reign, with Pogba the player who was repeatedly claimed to be at odds with the Portuguese.

He declined to elaborate, saying only: "Maybe we lost confidence, maybe things went wrong. A lot of talking outside that we weren't used to.

"I don't like to talk about the past. I like to talk about the future because that's what matters. We are better now and the results have been brilliant."

Pogba was being linked with an exit from Manchester United during Mourinho's time in charge as the relationship between the two deteriorated. However, the midfielder insisted he is happy at the club, despite describing Real Madrid as a "dream club for any footballer".

"It's one of the biggest clubs in the world. I've always said Real Madrid is a dream club for every player," the 26-year-old World Cup winner said.

Real Madrid recently re-appointed another World Cup winning French midfielder in Zinedine Zidane as manager taking over from Santiago Solari.

"At the moment, I'm happy in Manchester. I play. There's a new coach," he said.

Pogba's immediate focus is with the France national team, who face Moldova in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier.

France have played six games since beating Croatia 4-2 to win the 2018 World Cup but Friday's Group H opener will be their first leading to a major competition.

"It’s true that it’s not so easy to come back and to have new goals right away after winning the World Cup," Pogba said.

"But we have to, it’s our job. And we have to remain professional. But now we're going right into the competition, it’s the qualifiers. We want to win, we want to be the first in the group."

Updated: March 20, 2019 10:55 PM

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