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Mourinho demands consistency from resurgent Pogba

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Manchester Uniteds Paul Pogba

Manchester, April 15: Jose Mourinho has challenged record signing Paul Pogba to kick on from his derby day heroics for Manchester United.

The £89.3million France midfielder has often fallen short of such billing since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016 but he turned last weekend's match against Manchester City on its head with a quick-fire second-half brace before the Red Devils closed out a stunning 3-2 comeback win.

Pogba had found himself benched by Mourinho last month and the United boss believes the 25-year-old – whose future was the subject of speculation in the build-up to him spoiling City's planned title party – can be more consistent.

"I'll tell you what I told him after the match," Mourinho told reporters ahead of facing rock-bottom West Brom on Sunday, where an unlikely defeat would see City crowned champions.

"I don't expect you to be man of the match every week, I don't expect you to score two goals every week. But I expect you to be consistent.

"So, if you ask me if I'm expecting Paul now to be man of the match every week? No. If I expect him to score goals every match? No.

"But I expect Paul – and I think that's the challenge he has to put to himself – to keep a certain stability and not to have the good match and the so-so match and the bad match.

"I think he has to try to keep that level of stability, and from that stability of course will appear the special match with the special performance like it happened against City."

Mourinho has often bristled at criticism of his United side this season and he challenged detractors of him and his team to give credit following an impressive run of wins that includes Premier League triumphs over Chelsea, Liverpool and City.

"If you ask me about respect, I say it is about honesty," he said. "When we play bad then, yes, tell the truth. But when we do something positive, then also tell the truth.

"We are a team that has beaten every other team in the Premier League - beaten every one of the top six. We are a team that in the last three matches Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, has won all of them.

"We are a team that has already more points than last season, a team that's had brilliant matches and a team that showed character many times. Last week we were 2-0 down against City and we changed the game to win 3-2.

"After we lost to Sevilla in the Champions League, only a good group with good people could do what we did by winning every single match.

"The easy thing would have been to out against Sevilla and then collapse in the Premier League, in the sense that motivation goes down and the quality goes down. I think that we have given proof of what this group is – it is a group of good guys."

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Sunday, April 15, 2018, 5:00 [IST]
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