José Mourinho denies Paul Pogba's dip is a hangover from hamstring injury


All eyes were on Paul Pogba as Manchester United returned to Premier League action with the visit of Swansea City to Old Trafford.

Pogba scored his first goal for club or country in more than four months with a spectacular free-kick in France's win over Russian Federation in St Petersburg on Tuesday, but Mourinho declined the opportunity to praise him yesterday.

"For me, it's always sad when the big players go in the direction of the end", United manager Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.

Put to Mourinho that Pogba has not been the same player since returning, Mourinho retorted: "It's nothing to do with his injury". It was a display from the Chilean more in-keeping with his form at Arsenal, but afterwards Mourinho refused to get too excited. The midfielder does, as many have noted, need to work a bit harder perhaps, but the manager needs to let him off the leash more. I can not do anything else. Mourinho was also insistent Pogba's absence with a torn hamstring for over two months has had no bearing on the player's troubles since the turn of the year. "In his case - not at all". His recovery was really, really good'.

Pogba strengthened his claims for a recall, turning in an impressive performance for France in their 3-1friendly victory against World Cup hosts Russian Federation in St Petersburg in midweek.

Mourinho's hard relationship with Pogba sub-text of Man United's clash with struggling Swansea Jose Mourinho's strained relations with Paul Pogba will again come under close scrutiny when the Premier League returns from its worldwide break this weekend.

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"If he's available Luke Shaw is always an option", he said.

He was hauled off midway through the FA Cup quarter-final win against Brighton before the global break.

Mourinho has made a career out of trying to play mind games with both what he says and what he does.

None of Martial, Rashford or Sanchez are capable of ruffling their opponents with their physical presence, and this could hamper the club at some point, should Lukaku suffer a setback through an injury.

"A report (said) that Luke asked me why I changed him?" "The last time I spoke with him was probably when I last played against him". He didn't ask me the question. Nothing. I am the coach. "I make the changes I want to do".