Solskjaer hails impact of ‘happy boy’ Pogba

Source:Reuters Published: 2018/12/27 19:33:40

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United are now seeing the Paul Pogba he knows from his time in charge of the club's reserve team after the French World Cup winner scored twice in a 3-1 win over Huddersfield on Boxing Day.

Solskjaer's reign as caretaker manager began with a 5-1 win at Cardiff on Saturday, and his dream start continued with a resounding welcome by the Old Trafford faithful.

Nemanja Matic scored the opener, but it was Pogba's second-half display and the Frenchman's two goals that spoke volumes about the change in mood at the club in the week since Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager and replaced, until the end of the ­season, by the popular Norwegian.

Solskjaer coached Pogba as a youngster before the midfielder left for Juventus and United had to pay a then world record 89 million pounds to bring him back in 2016.

"That's the Paul I know," said Solskjaer. "The Paul I've known since he was in the reserves and youth team with me.

"He has always been a happy boy, he's always had a big smile on his face."

Pogba cut a less than happy figure for much of this season as he clashed with Mourinho and was left on the bench for the Portuguese's final three league games in charge.

"When you score a goal, or two, of course you are happy," Solskjaer said.

"But when you play football for Man United you should be happy. Of course it's a responsibility, but it's an honour and a privilege.

"Paul loves playing for this club. He's a Man United boy through and through, a kid who knows what it means to play for Man United."

The outcome could have been very different, though, but for David de Gea's stunning save to keep out an effort from Laurent Depoitre moments before Pogba's first and United's second goal.

"Dave's save was the defining moment. One of the best saves I've seen," said Solskjaer.

"It was extra special of course," said Solskjaer of his return as manager to Old Trafford. "But I was surprisingly calm, the boys settled me down really quickly.

"It's special to walk out there, hearing the crowd again singing my song - normally they started after I scored a goal, not before the game after I walked out!"



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