Improved ‘Connection’ With Ibrahimovic Paying Off At Manchester United – Pogba
Paul Pogba has cited his growing familiarity with his Manchester United teammates as a crucial factor in their current nine-game winning streak.
United have won all of their games since a Dec. 4 draw at Everton, and have not lost in the Premier League since Oct. 23 at Chelsea.
Pogba rejoined United in the summer alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and he said the months since then have improved their teamwork, leading to consistent results on the pitch.
“I think it’s because we know each other even more now, we’ve been playing together for some time now so we have this connection and combinations on the pitch,” Pogba said in Sunday’s matchday programme ahead of the clash with Liverpool.
“I know how to find Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] for example or [Anthony] Martial or [Marcus] Rashford… we’ve been together for six months now and the group is more compact I would say and you’ve seen the results come with the manager and the coaches as well.
“I think everything is going in the right way and that’s what we want. It’s always hard when you take new players in because they need to adapt to English football and everything here. That’s happened and we’re doing great.”
Pogba also said he keeps an eye out for Ibrahimovic to connect with the tall Swede in the final third — a combination that he says appears to come naturally.
“He is just someone I can find. He has everything,” the Frenchman said. “He is a complete striker, you can give him the ball, he can hold the ball up, he can find space, he has great skills, he’s good with his head, he can finish, he’s big and strong… so I try to find him.
“I like the way he plays and I think he likes the way I play as well. It’s just a connection on the pitch, it’s not like we practised it in training, it just happens.”
Meanwhile, United manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his confidence in Pogba by saying the playmaker can score every time he walks onto the pitch.
“Paul is very happy in the way the team plays and the team allows him to play,” Mourinho told multiple English newspapers.
“I think he can score goals. I don’t want to set targets for him, but I just feel that in every match he can potentially score a goal.
“Paul will always get into positions where he will have a free kick or a shot from 20 to 25 metres. So I always feel, in every game he will have conditions to potentially score.”
Mourinho also said his biggest challenge in coaching Pogba is simply how to position him to succeed.
“I’ve worked with Paul, tactically as mentally,” Mourinho said. “I did nothing special. It is part of him. His technical and psychological qualities are part of him.
“Tactically, I have tried to adjust him and give some guidance and try to make a dynamic player for the team where he can be dangerous and can arrive in certain positions where he has the potential to score.”