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Didier Drogba says Jose Mourinho pushing Paul Pogba to get best out of Frenchman at United

Paul Pogba of Manchester United with manager Jose Mourinho (right)

Bengaluru, March 28: Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has defended his former manager Jose Mourinho over the latter's treatment of midfielder Paul Pogba at Manchester United. The Portuguese boss has criticised Pogba a few times this season, even dropping him from the Starting XI for some important matches and replacing him with youngster Scott McTominay. In recent times, there has been a lot of talk that the France international is not happy with the way Mourinho behaves with him at the club and reports have suggested that Pogba would welcome a move away from Old Trafford in the summer transfer window if things do not change.

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However, Drogba, who played under Mourinho at Chelsea, spoke about his ex-boss's actions and played down the suggestions that the two are not getting along at United in an interview with Telefoot. Drogba explained that the Portuguese coach’s methods indicate that Mourinho favours Pogba and is only pushing to get more from the Frenchman.

Drogba cited his own experience at Chelsea, where he won three Premier League titles and an FA Cup under Mourinho, saying he too faced criticism and hard talk from the Portuguese. Drogba says he later realised that the manager was harsh only to get the best out of him.

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"It's been hot between us [Drogba and Mourinho]," he said. "But Jose is never going to attack people he does not like. He likes Paul a lot. That's why he's given him a lot of responsibilities."

Pogba has made 27 appearances for the Red Devils so far this campaign, scoring three goals and assisting 10 times. But in recent weeks, he has been left out of the United first team due to his poor performance.

Manchester United are currently second on the Premier League table but are out of the race for the title as league leaders Manchester City are already 16 points clear with only eight games left to play.

The Red Devils also crashed out of the Champions League, losing to Sevilla in the Round of 16 three weeks ago to pile on the misery on Jose Mourinho. However, United still have an opportunity to lift some silverware this season as they are still in the FA Cup. They face Tottenham on April 21 in the FA Cup semifinals.

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Story first published: Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 15:27 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 28, 2018
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