Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is relishing the challenge of getting the best out of ‘terrific lad’ Paul Pogba, having addressed a controversial social media post with the Manchester United star.
Former Old Trafford favourite Solskjaer was installed as interim manager this week, returning to take a role at United for the first time since he served as reserve coach between 2008 and 2011.
Solskjaer worked with Pogba at that time, but the France midfielder has since departed for Juventus, returned in a club-record move and won the World Cup in Russia.
Pogba appeared to clash with former manager Jose Mourinho on more than one occasion, yet Solskjaer is confident he will be able to work with the 25-year-old.
“He’s a World Cup winner,” Solskjaer said. “Paul’s a terrific lad. When I had him as a kid as well, he was always the happy-go-lucky lad and he’s not changed personality-wise.
“He’s a better player and, of course, he’s one I want to get the best out of. You have so many quality players that I want to try to get the best out of and he’s no different to anybody else.”
Pogba was in the spotlight again this week, however, when a social media post, published minutes after Mourinho’s sacking, was deemed to have mocked the outgoing manager.
Gary Neville was vocal in his criticism of Pogba afterwards, although the player’s team insisted it was a pre-scheduled post not intended to cause a stir.
“ Caption This “
You do one as well !
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) December 18, 2018
“We’ve spoken about what we expect, what standards we have on and off the pitch,” Solskjaer added. “You prepare for every game, I trust the lads to know what they’re doing to help the team. Everything we do is to help the team.
“But the world’s changed now. I’m not into this social media – my kids are. I am that old that I’m not on Twitter and Facebook – maybe Facebook’s old now – but it’s just common sense for me and I’ve spoken to [Pogba] about that.
“We can move this forward and we have one target: that we succeed. And we do that as a team.”
Solskjaer is now keen to see the United squad enjoying their football, although he believes this has always been the case for players at Old Trafford.
“I don’t know if they haven’t enjoyed it because I haven’t asked them about it,” he said.
“My job is to make them play their best football and enjoy football because, when you’re a kid, you love playing football. I’m sure they must enjoy going out at Old Trafford.
“Everyone starts with a clean slate, everyone is now a part of Man United with me as the coach or manager, and I always feel players play better when they’re happy. That’s just the way I will manage them.
“I’m not going to go into whether they haven’t been [enjoying themselves]. I think they have been.”
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