English Premiership

Fernandes: Pogba is still one of the best

Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba (Getty Images)
Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba (Getty Images)

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has voiced his support for team-mate Paul Pogba, insisting his critics have forgotten his ability.

The Portugal midfielder believes the World Cup winner has been singled out for criticism due to the high expectations on him.

Graeme Souness has been among the most vocal, but Pogba told United podcast this week that he did even not know who the former Liverpool player and manager was.

Souness hit back, telling Sky Sports' The Football Show on Tuesday: "The oldest saying in football comes to mind: Put your medals on the table. I've got a big table."

Pogba has not featured since Boxing Day, playing just eight times in an injury-hit season, and Fernandes feels the former Juventus star has suffered unfairly.

He told mufc.com: "We can say in football that people normally forget what you do good when you have a mistake. You can do good for 34 games, and one game you do bad and everyone will remember that.

"Paul is coming from a bad moment, because of the situation. When he played also, the club and the team was not good, because the expectations are high for Paul, because Paul is a top player and Manchester United pay a lot for him, and expectations are a lot for him.

"It's normal when you are in that situation you don't play like a superstar, because everyone expects from Paul like they expect from (Cristiano) Ronaldo at Juventus or (Lionel) Messi at Barcelona.

"Everyone expects this from Paul in Manchester, because they know he has the qualities for this. Also this is confidence in Paul. The team, we have a lot of confidence in Paul."

Pogba, who has battled foot and ankle problems this term, was due to return for United before the coronavirus pandemic shut down football last month.

"He started training with us in the week before we stopped, so I think when he comes back he will start to play, and be in the team," Fernandes said.

"I think he has a lot to give, he has a lot of quality, and I think with the positive energy in the club - because we won a lot of games and we are in a good moment - everyone, the supporters and everything, will be more patient with Paul maybe."

- TEAMtalk media

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