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‘Pogba can’t adjust in a click of fingers

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Jose Mourinho mocks ‘Einsteins’ for Paul Pogba criticism

World-record signing Paul Pogba needs time to find his feet at Manchester United, says manager Jose Mourinho.

The 23-year-old France midfielder, who joined for £89m in August, scored twice in Thursday’s 4-1 Europa League win over Fenerbahce after a subdued display in Monday’s 0-0 draw at Liverpool.

“Two days ago he was the worst player in the Premier League and 48 hours later he’s phenomenal,” said Mourinho.

“He needs time. I’m happy with his performance. He has what we need.”

Mourinho, who spent two seasons in charge of Inter Milan and led them to the Champions League as part of a treble in 2010, believes Pogba is getting used to a different style of football to that at former club Juventus.

“I was in Italy and I know the characteristics, the pace and intensity,” the 53-year-old Portuguese added.

“To be in Italy for four or five years and then come back to the Premier League, I was not expecting him to adjust in a click of fingers.”

Pogba, who said after the match that he felt “comfortable with all the team”, now has three goals in 10 games for United.

Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial also scored for United, with former Red Devils striker Robin van Persie applauded warmly after scoring a late consolation.

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Mkhitaryan goes missing

Another of United’s summer signings, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, has to “work more” if he wants to be involved in the first team, according to Mourinho.

The 27-year-old Armenia midfielder, who arrived in a £26m transfer from Borussia Dortmund, is no longer injured but has not appeared since being substituted at half-time during the derby defeat by Manchester City on 10 September.

“He has to work more to get the intensity to play at a high level,” said Mourinho.

“We played with Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial. I am not Einstein. I don’t know a tactical system with four wingers.

“It would be much better for him to work the way he did yesterday in a specific session. He must wait for his chance but he is ready very soon.”

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan watched from the directors’ box

Analysis

BBC Sport’s Simon Stone at Old Trafford

Four goals, a win and a goal for an old favourite. As European evenings go at Old Trafford, this was a good one for Manchester United and their fans.

But Mourinho knows his tricky week is only two-thirds through.

He has a draw from a trip to Liverpool. On Sunday, he must go to Stamford Bridge, the ground he called home for so long, and a meeting with Chelsea that is bound to be emotional, but, given United are slightly off the pace in the Premier League, one he must get something from.

Media and fan reaction

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The Daily Mirror believes Wayne Rooney’s performance did little to strengthen his claims for a first-team spot

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Mic Medeska: The reason for the goals is Carrick. Pogba can get forward and the attackers know he’s back there. Confidence.

Kenny Kong: Now THAT is the sort of goals MUFC paid so much for Pogba for, what a beauty.

Khushil Hirani: Surely Mourinho has to look to Carrick to balance the team at Stamford Bridge on Sunday?

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37724283