Rooney on Pogba's struggles under Mourinho: He needs freedom to create - let him make mistakes!

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The former Manchester United striker believes it was always going to be a difficult situation when two big egos at the club clashed

Wayne Rooney believes Paul Pogba needs to be left to play his own game in order to get the best out of him, something he suggests did not happen under Jose Mourinho.

Pogba and Mourinho clashed at times this season, with the France international told he'll never captain the club again one stage, while there was also a heated debate on the training pitch after a Carabao Cup loss to Derby.

In the final few games under Mourinho, Pogba was left out of the starting XI for Premier League matches, and did not play at all in the manager’s final game – a 3-1 defeat to rivals Liverpool.

Interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought the 25-year-old straight back into his XI, with Pogba having responded by scoring four goals and adding four assists in the six games since the managerial change.

And former United star Rooney believes that Pogba needs to be allowed to play with freedom to get the best out of him.

"Well I think with Paul, I watched him come through the academy at United and he's got a lot of ability, but the difficult time he was going through... if you don't have a good relationship with the coach, then it's difficult to be at your top if you feel like the coach is scrutinising every decision you make, every pass you make," Rooney told ESPN.

"Paul Pogba will give the ball away, he'll try passes [and] it won't be the right pass at times, but you have to let him do that because two or three of them passes will create goals, will create opportunities.

"I think he found it difficult under Mourinho. I think a player and a manager with big egos clashed and the outcome was never going to be great."

Pogba isn’t alone in his resurgence under Solskjaer, which has seen Manchester United reel off six wins in six games and climb back into the hunt for a top-four finish.

Marcus Rashford has scored four goals in the six games since Solskjaer took over, and has seemingly pushed ahead of the likes of Romelu Lukaku in the pecking order for the main striker role at the club.

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And Rooney has revealed he spoke to Rashford when the two were together on international duty in November, insisting he advised the 20-year-old that he was working too hard.

"When I went back to play for the national team against the USA, I spoke to Marcus and he was trying too much, he was trying too hard, he was working too hard, he was getting tired at the end of games," Rooney said.

"But the scary thing with Marcus, when he runs at you with the ball he's impossible to defend and I reminded him to keep doing that, to just get the ball and run at defenders."

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