LONDON: Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has defended midfielder Paul Pogba against criticism from the “Einsteins” of the media and fan forums.
The French world record signing scored twice in United’s 4-1 defeat of Fenerbahce at Old Trafford on Thursday, one from a penalty.
Mourinho then demanded a sense of perspective from observers who, in his opinion, had been too hasty to make an assessment of the former Juventus player.
He said: “First of all, in some of your mouths, he goes from the worst player in the Premier League to a great player in 48 hours.
“I am not specifically saying it is you. I say media, especially the Einsteins. We know he is a very good player. We know he needs some time to show his potential.
“I know Italian football very well. I know teams play completely different from the Premier League. I am not saying we are better but we are different.
“Different in the intensity, the number of touches on the ball, everything is different and he needs time to adapt. He is a self-confident boy. He was not depressed because some people said he was a bad player. He was calm. It is always nice for a player to score, to score at home and especially to score such a beautiful goal.”
Pogba was one of four players who survived in the starting XI from the team that faced Liverpool last time out, with neither of Morgan Schneiderlin or Henrikh Mkhitaryan making the cut despite Mourinho’s heavy rotation.
Mourinho said: “The situation is that we played with [Jesse] Lingard, with [Juan] Mata and Martial. I am not an Einstein. I don’t know a tactical system that can play with four wingers at the same time.
“[Mkhitaryan] has to work more to get the intensity and fitness to play at a high level. To have him on the bench and give him 15 or 20 minutes like I did to Memphis (Depay), I think it is much better for him to work yesterday much harder and he did today in a specific session and wait for his chance, but he is ready very soon.”