Paul Pogba: Solskjaer is like Ferguson. Paul Pogba considers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to have come “home” at Manchester United, with the club’s interim boss bringing many of Sir Alex Ferguson’s coaching qualities with him.
The Red Devils turned to a familiar face for assistance in December after deciding to part company with Jose Mourinho. A rescue mission was handed to a Treble-winning hero of the past, with the 2018-19 campaign in danger of collapsing around those at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer has set about his challenge with gusto, delivering six successive victories across all competitions while getting key men, such as Pogba, to rediscover their spark. He has also been credited with returning the United values of old to the Theatre of Dreams, with an attacking philosophy being embraced and players granted the freedom to express themselves.
Pogba, who completed his own homecoming when rejoining the Red Devils from Juventus in 2016, told BBC Sport of the new man at the helm: “It’s like home for him. He knows. “Nothing really changed, he just came back to the time of Ferguson. The training, the way we use the ball, it’s everything like before.”
On what Solskjaer brings as a manager, with the Norwegian having previously spent time with United coaching within their youth and reserve ranks, Pogba added: “He’s always been really smiley, a person close to the players, understanding them.
“The respect gets a bit higher now but he’s still the same person.”
Early success for Solskjaer has put him in contention to land the managerial reins on a permanent basis. There is, however, still a lot of work to be done, with a top-four finish considered to be the minimum requirement for a club of United’s stature.
Pogba believes Champions League football can be delivered, with the Red Devils showing that they are back on the right track. The World Cup winner added: “We have goals, that’s our objective, to go back to the top. “The top four, we can do it. We know we can do it.”
United sit six points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea at present but will get the opportunity to close that gap, albeit briefly, when they play host to Brighton on Saturday afternoon – with Maurizio Sarri’s side involved in an evening derby date with London rivals Arsenal.