Solskjaer explains Pogba’s reduced role in Man Utd win

The Frenchman found himself on the bench for much of the game, despite starting the club’s previous three league encounters

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Paul Pogba didn’t start in Saturday’s 4-1 win against Newcastle due to niggling injuries picked up on international duty. 

The Frenchman featured in all three of his country’s recent fixtures but only came on for the final 15 minutes of their midweek win over Croatia

Pogba then found himself in a similar situation at club level, with Solskjaer opting to keep his star midfielder on the bench until the 69th minute on Saturday when the clash was still deadlocked at 1-1.

The Red Devils would ultimately score three late goals to wrap up the win with Solskjaer forced to clarify why Pogba didn’t start the match having previously started in the club’s three previous league games. 

“Paul had hip and back problems when he was away with France, so it wasn’t right to start him,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports

“We have got big games coming up. Everyone has to perform when they come on. I am delighted for him.”

On the game itself, Solskjaer added: “Great result and great character to come back, led by a very inspirational captain.

“The boys came together really well. The are looking forward to every game. Today I rested a few and they have come on and done the business for us.

“The season started for us today. We have come up to the speed of the game and that showed today.”

Solskajer opted to start under-fire defender Harry Maguire against Newcastle and the club captain delivered with an early equaliser for the Red Devils. 

“Harry scored and leads by example. He showed good character, I am happy for him. He had a couple of difficult weeks since he last played for us,” Solskjaer said. 

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce believes the scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection of his side’s efforts, who were close to walking away with a point with less than 10 minutes remaining. 

“I thought we were a little bit too easy at times to play against. We will go away really, really disappointed because we were 10 minutes away and it could have gone either way when it gets that late,” Bruce told MOTD

“It is work in progress for us. We have tried to change and with that it will take time. The defeat looks worse than it really was.”

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