“When I play like that, I can see the difference.”
One of the most eye-catching aspects of Manchester United’s impressive recent form has been Paul Pogba’s regeneration.
The Frenchman, who has endured mixed fortunes at United since returning to the club from Juventus in 2016, has been an integral part of the club’s success since the turn of the year.
Having worked his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting line-up, Pogba has struck the winning goal against Burnley and Fulham and started against Liverpool in the league and cup.
With the 27-year-old back to near his best, United supporters are hoping that Pogba can continue to play an influential role as the club target a first Premier League title since 2013.
And ahead of United’s home game against Sheffield United on Wednesday, Pogba sat down with BT Sport pundit – and former Red Devil – Rio Ferdinand to discuss his upturn in form.
The France international accepted that his improved performances have been at least partially down to playing quicker, simpler football, and resisting the urge to take too many touches.
Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms of Pogba has been that he does not work hard enough for the team at United and that he cannot be relied upon when United are under severe pressure.
On the ball, he has often been accused of over-complicating matters, often trying to beat multiple opponents instead of playing a simple enough pass to progress the move.
“Yeah, it’s true, it’s true, that I have to adapt as well,” said Pogba.
“This league, you don’t get as much time as I want because I like to have some touches on the ball and people are pressing me more.
“The team leaves some players on me, and sometimes I like to play with my abilities you know, but now I just try to play quicker so I can leave the space behind me and play more as a team than the individual.
“Sometimes I like to hold the ball and pass the player, but it would be better to play the one or two touch.”
Pogba added that his new approach is the product of both self-analysis and guidance from Solskjaer.
“I think it’s everything,” said United’s No.6.
“When I play like that, I can see the difference, I see that I won’t lose the ball and I feel more comfortable. He helps the team and helps me.
“You know me, I like to be on the ball but I just try to do the right thing at the right time and I think it’s the right thing to play faster.”
Pogba to discuss future with United
Of course, earlier this season, speculation around Pogba’s future at Old Trafford intensified dramatically when his agent Mino Raiola, claimed that he was looking to leave the club.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 27, 2021
And when asked about his future by Ferdinand, Pogba – whose current deal expires in 2022 – said that while he is focused on United’s season, he will speak with the club to discuss his future.
“I’m on contract, I’m here,” Pogba said with a smile.
“I’m enjoying myself, I’m here, everybody knows that I have one year left. I’m going to speak with the club, to see what’s going on and but for now, my objective, my goal is to win something – that’s all I’m thinking about.
“The contract, that’s not important, it’s to win.”