Jose Mourinho feels that Paul Pogba’s victorious World Cup campaign has helped Manchester United find momentum following a rocky start to the new Premier League season.
Having lost two of their first three games of the new campaign, the Red Devils have rallied since to win three on the trot across all competitions.
Pogba, who has scored four goals in six games since his return following France’s victory in Russia to clinch their first World Cup for two decades, has been key in helping United overturn their initial slump, and his manager believes the 25-year-old is helping his side to benefit from his achievement.
“I think the happiness, the confidence and the self-esteem was what pushed him to play the first match against Leicester almost without training and played a very good match,” Mourinho told his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s game with Wolves on Saturday.
“It’s more about the moment and the momentum, like you call it; is very important in the positive and negative way.”
With seven players in his squad who reached the last four at the World Cup – Pogba, Belgium pair Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini, and the England quartet of Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Ashley Young and Phil Jones – there were concerns that United’s mixed early start was down to fatigue.
But Mourinho has acknowledged that the turn-around in form has created an uplifting atmosphere among his players that he feels has helped them overcome the mental and physical rigours of a busy off-season.
“I think good results and good performances can make you look like a miracle,” the Portuguese added, “But bad results and bad performances, they make you look more tired, more upset, more ugly.
“Football like this. A team that yesterday looked very bad can today look very good [and vice versa]. I think this is more the influence of the moment.”
Following their clash against Wolves, United face lower league opposition when they host Derby County in the third round of the Carabao Cup on September 25.
They then return to the Premier League with a trip to West Ham on September 29.