ZLA­TAN ON UNITED AND MOUR­INHO

Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic on life at United, Pogba and this week­end’s big derby

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With four goals in four games since join­ing Manch­ester United, Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic has made an in­stant im­pres­sion at Old Traf­ford and in English foot­ball.

Along with the ap­point­ment of Jose Mour­inho, the Swedish striker has helped lead United to three wins from three in the Pre­mier League.

Up next for United is Satur­day’s Manch­ester derby against ri­vals City, who also have a 100 per cent record.

We spoke to Zla­tan about the big clash, how he has set­tled in Eng­land, his re­spect for Mour­inho and what he thinks about world-record sign­ing Paul Pogba.

You have had a great start to your Manch­ester United ca­reer – how have you set­tled in at Old Traf­ford? What about the re­cep­tion from fans and play­ers?

I have said al­ready that I have played in many leagues in many coun­tries, but the Manch­ester fans have eclipsed any­thing I have ever known. Ev­ery game this sea­son they have been the 12th man on the field for us, and if we are go­ing to have a suc­cess­ful sea­son – they will play a big part.

You were touted with a move to the Pre­mier League many times dur­ing your ca­reer – how have found the league’s pace and phys­i­cal­ity?

At many times I had the op­por­tu­nity to play in the Pre­mier League, but this was the right time. I know I still have much to of­fer, and the style is dif­fer­ent – but I have al­ways been able to adapt.

United have had a busy sum­mer with Jose Mour­inho’s ap­point­ment and big trans­fers – how big a sign­ing was Paul Pogba for the club and what does he bring to the team on and off the pitch?

I am sure he just wanted to fol­low me! I am just kid­ding, he is funny guy and a good friend off the field, and on it you can see how spe­cial he is. He is a big player, and I know un­der Mour­inho he can be­come com­plete.

How is it work­ing with Mour­inho sec­ond time around after your spell to­gether at In­ter Mi­lan?

Mour­inho is a mas­ter­mind. I do not have many re­grets, but I did re­gret that I did not get to play un­der Mour­inho for longer. When the op­por­tu­nity came again for him to be my coach at Manch­ester United – it was an easy de­ci­sion. He knows ev­ery­thing about the game, who would not want to be coached by him?

It’s the Manch­ester derby against City this week­end – how has it been in the run-up com­pared with pre­vi­ous der­bies you have played?

These games al­ways mean so much to the fans and we want to win for them, but the play­ers must al­ways be fo­cused. Ev­ery game must be looked at as an op­por­tu­nity to win three points, that is al­ways the goal who­ever the op­po­si­tion.

Both United and City have had strong starts with three wins from three – how cru­cial is the derby re­sult in terms of the sea­son and ti­tle race over­all?

The main thing is we are fo­cused on our­selves. It is a long sea­son, but we have started well. We have the am­bi­tion to win the ti­tle, and it will be im­por­tant that we try and take points of the teams that will be chal­leng­ing.

City striker Ser­gio Aguero will miss the derby be­cause of sus­pen­sion – will that give United con­fi­dence that he is miss­ing or do you think City will pose an even big­ger dan­ger?

All of our fo­cus is on our­selves and our own prepa­ra­tion, it doesn’t mat­ter what any­body else does.

You know when you play the teams at the top that any team they put out

is go­ing to be a dan­ger­ous team, you can’t just con­cen­trate on sin­gle play­ers.

How long can Zla­tan be at the top? There were sto­ries re­cently about a po­ten­tial move into coach­ing. Is this some­thing you would like in your fu­ture?

In the fu­ture who knows what is pos­si­ble, but for now I am en­joy­ing play­ing.

I am at a great club, with a great coach, and with great fans – and I want to be as suc­cess­ful for them as pos­si­ble.

“I still have much to of­fer, and the style is dif­fer­ent – but I have al­ways been able to adapt.” – ZLA­TAN ON PLAY­ING IN THE PRE­MIER LEAGUE

“He is a big player, and I know un­der Mour­inho he can be­come com­plete.” – ZLA­TAN ON PAUL POGBA

“I have played in many coun­tries, but the Manch­ester fans have eclipsed any­thing I have ever known..” – ZLA­TAN ON THE MANCH­ESTER UNITED SUP­PORT­ERS

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