Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba says he is enjoying more “freedom” under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer than he had under Jose Mourinho.
The Frenchman’s form has improved markedly since Solskjaer was made caretaker boss and he says it is because he has been given license to attack.
“I play a bit further forward and I’ve got the security behind me,” Pogba told reporters at Wembley after helping United to a 1-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday. “He’s giving me the freedom of going forward, to shoot and to be forward with the three forwards.”
Pogba was left on the bench for Mourinho’s final three league games in charge before returning to play a central role under Solskjaer. His struggles under Mourinho prompted speculation he could seek a move away from United and he admits a prolonged period on the fringes of the team would have been hard to take.
“During the past few months, before the coach came back, I was benched, and a football player on the bench, I’m not sure if he can accept that,” said Pogba. “Now I’m taking pleasure again, I play again, I’m doing what I love, so it’s normal. And we’re winning so indeed we play with a smile always.”
Solskjaer is now joint-favourite to get the job permanently after victory over Spurs at Wembley. The 45-year-old was initially brought in to steady the ship after a tumultuous spell under Mourinho and he has been able to get the best out of Pogba having worked with the World Cup winner when he was reserve team coach at Old Trafford between 2008 and 2010.
“It’s a pleasure to see him again,” said Pogba. “I know him from the academy, the reserves.
“He’s doing a great job, he’s been a player, he knows the mentality of this club and he came to help us and boost us, and he’s doing a great job at this although the season’s still long and it’s not over.”