Paul Pogba: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists midfielder is ‘very focused’ ahead of Manchester derby

Paul Pogba was benched for United’s defeat by Leipzig

Solskjaer refused to say whether he plans on starting Pogba against Manchester City on Saturday, as Pep Guardiola’s side make the short trip to Old Trafford for the 183rd Manchester derby.

The United manager insisted, however, that he has no concerns about Pogba’s professionalism and dedication, and said that he remains fully focused in training, unlike others who have pushed for a move in recent years.

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our full mailing list consent terms here

Independent Football Newsletter

Get the latest football headlines direct to your inbox twice a week

Read our full mailing list consent terms here

“I think I said during the week that this is a team game and Paul is part of this team,” Solskjaer said.

“He’s very focused on contributing when he’s here. He’s got the hunger and appetite to play and wants to play. He wants to train and he trains.

“There’s been other players refusing to train and refusing to play – they’re not here anymore of course – but Paul’s not once done that. He’s just focused on performing when he gets a chance.

“That’s the good thing about Paul. He’s got the quality and the desire to do well when he comes on, like he did against Leipzig. He had a positive impact. The short answer is he’s part of the squad for tomorrow.”

Paul Pogba celebrates after sparking a late rally against Leipzig

Solskjaer’s own future at United has come under scrutiny following the midweek Champions League exit, even though he retains the support of the club’s hierarchy and his position is not under threat.

A derby win over City would nevertheless come as a welcome relief and Solskjaer insisted on Friday that he believes he has what it takes to withstand setbacks.

“There’s always pressure on you when you manage Man United,” he said. “That’s something I had to think about when I accepted the role – do I have what it takes to be in such a situation? Can you handle setbacks? Can you handle success?

“I think I can. I’ve got a fantastic staff around me who I use as sparring partners for discussions, even the conversation with the club goes on all the time.

“It’s a continuous open dialogue. When you come to work the next day you see the quality of the players you have and you want to work with them.”

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri – Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.

Source: Read Full Article