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'Why is Pogba the problem? He's not a robot' – Berbatov backs under-fire Man Utd midfielder

14:34 GMT+3 27/04/2019
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2018-19
A man who is no stranger to being called out for a lack of positive body language has defended the Frenchman in the wake of criticism

Dimitar Berbatov has leapt to the defence of Manchester United's Paul Pogba amid criticism that the World Cup winner may be partly to blame for the club's poor form and internal troubles.

Fans and pundits alike have levelled claims that the Frenchman should be doing more, with a proven performer at the highest level seemingly failing to lead by example as the team struggles for consistency.

Indeed, fellow former Red Devil Roy Keane called out Pogba to act with more maturity after United's recent derby loss to Manchester City, but Berbatov has called for more support for the star he feels can be the club's main creative force.

“Why is Pogba the problem?” the Bulgarian said in The Sun. “They criticise some players more than other, which is unfair. You cannot escape criticism in one form or another – we all have phones and are on social media.

“Even if you are mentally strong the critics can get in your head. But when everyone is attacking you... we are all humans, so it can affect your game.

“He's not a robot, so if you don't feel appreciated, what do you do? Go somewhere else. But leaving would be a mistake. I really hope Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] will tell Pogba he will build the team around him to give him the confidence to perform at his best.

“I have first-hand experience of how good Pogba ban be when he trained with us as a kid and he is a good boy as well.

“He needs to know that he has a player to cover his back. He needs to have the freedom to make decisive passes. It doesn't matter if he makes mistakes as he is trying difficult passes.”

Next up for Man Utd is a visit from fellow top-four chasers Chelsea, and a victory at Old Trafford will put the hosts level on points with Maurizio Sarri's Blues heading into the final few weeks of the Premier League season.

The Red Devils will need to count on further setbacks for those also chasing a Champions League spot, but Berbatov at least feels that Sunday's clash represents a good opportunity for his former side.

“The Chelsea game is massive,” He said. “They need to win, but how will they respond after the City game?

“They needed a response after Everton but they lost, so what happens if they lose again?

“Chelsea are not performing well either, so it’s an even game.”