Mourinho: Stability the springboard for Pogba success
Jose Mourinho sends out a rejuvenated Paul Pogba against West Brom this afternoon, demanding more consistency from Manchester United’s record signing.
The stunning performance turned in by Pogba in last weekend’s derby win against City was a reminder of his potential – and the standards he has failed to find consistently this season.
The France international’s poor displays earlier this year eventually led to him being left out of United’s starting line-up, with his manager implying on Friday that it was a loss of form on the training ground that had cost him his place.
With Pogba having responded with his first two-goal performance in a Premier League game, Mourinho’s faith in his £89.3 million signing was repaid and, while the United manager does not expect such dazzling performances on a weekly basis, he is looking for his star to maintain consistency, both in training and games.
“I’ll tell you what I told him after the match – I don’t expect you to be man of the match every week, I don’t expect you to score two goals every week,” said Mourinho. “But I expect you to be consistent.
“So, if you ask me if I’m expecting Paul now to be man of the match every week? No. If I expect him to score goals every match? No.
“But I expect Paul – and I think that’s the challenge he has to put to himself – to keep a certain stability and not to have the good match and the so-so match and the bad match.
“I think he has to try to keep that level of stability, and from that stability of course will appear the special match with the special performance like it happened against City.”
Pogba’s efforts at the Etihad allowed United to record a seventh consecutive victory in domestic games in what is becoming a strong end to the season, marred only by the disappointing surrender to Sevilla in the Champions League last 16. United’s form – and their second-half display against City in particular – have suggested Mourinho’s side is capable of challenging their neighbours at the top of the table next season.
The Portuguese remains understandably cautious about talking up next season and, while expecting City to invest heavily this summer, he insists United will not spend recklessly to try to compete. “No. We are not going to spend more than we can,” he said. “We are not going to do anything crazy.
“We are just trying to improve a little bit more, to give sequence to it. That’s what we are going to try.”