No more Mou: Pogba pleased just to be playing again as he challenges Man Utd to keep winning

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The World Cup winner found himself benched under a former boss, but has enjoyed a welcome return to form with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm

Paul Pogba admits he is starting to “enjoy playing football” again after overcoming his struggles under Jose Mourinho to produce the performances expected of him for Manchester United.

Despite being a World Cup winner and £89 million ($114m) record signing at Old Trafford, the Frenchman struggled to deliver under a Portuguese manager.

A dip in form and reports of conflict with an outspoken coach led to Pogba being benched towards the end of Mourinho’s reign.

That absence from the United side sparked talk of a possible move being made elsewhere, with Juventus leaving the door open for a second spell in Serie A.

The 25-year-old has, however, thrived since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins, registering four goals and as many assists in December to end 2018 on a high.

Pogba told United’s official website of his return to prominence: “Obviously it’s good.

“The month before that [November] I wasn’t playing a lot so just being back on the pitch, playing and enjoying with the guys is good.

“It’s always good for me and I enjoy playing football and being with the guys.”

Pogba’s efforts have seen him land United’s latest Player of the Month award, with that prize recognising the braces he bagged against Huddersfield and Bournemouth.

Asked to pick his favourite goal of his haul, he said: “I would say the header [against Bournemouth].

“It’s not my best attribute, I would say, but yes, the header. The timing was good and the cross [from Ander Herrera] was good, so it was a good goal.”

Pogba was denied the opportunity to build on those exploits after picking up a knock in a 2-0 victory over Newcastle.

He missed an FA Cup third round win over Reading as a result, but is closing in on full fitness and is hoping to come back into contention for a trip to Tottenham on Sunday when United will be looking to stretch their faultless run under Solskjaer to six successive victories.

“We’re Manchester United so that [winning] should be a basic thing for us,” added Pogba. 

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“Obviously we know that the Premier League is hard and we have a lot of games [to play] but those five games give us more confidence.

“Mentally we’re strong and ready. For the rest of the season, we just want to do the same and carry on like that.”

United continue to occupy sixth spot in the Premier League table at present, but have closed to within six points of the top four in an ongoing battle for Champions League qualification.

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