Jose Mourinho has now confirmed that Paul Pogba’s substitution in Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United was not due to injury.
Paul Pogba appeared to have tweaked a muscle in the pre-match warm-ups and went on to produce a sub-par performance at St James’ Park on Sunday.
Pogba did not jump to challenge for the free kick from which Newcastle scored on 65 minutes, and was replaced by Michael Carrick shortly after Matt Ritchie’s winner.
“No problems,” Mourinho told Sky Sports News when asked if Pogba had an injury. “I wanted a better way to come out in the first phase against a team that was defending in a very compact block.
“I was trying that with the simplicity of Michael Carrick because he tries to make everything simple and bring Alexis [Sanchez] close to an area to [Romelu] Lukaku where he could be like a second striker to try to win the game.”
When asked about the goal, Mourinho added: “We train, we work, we organise… and the players have their individual jobs when they defend zonal. The players know there are responsibilities but I am pretty sure you already watch that goal on TV a few times, I didn’t.
“So you know more than me and you know who lost the challenge in the air, you know clearly that so I think it is bad if you put me in a position where I have to criticise a player. By yourself you make your own analysis.”