Recovering Paul Pogba to join up with United squad in Dubai

Midfielder did not go with the players on Saturday as he continues to deal with injury

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba remonstrates with Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey during the Premier League match at St James’ Park. Photo: Lindsey Parnaby/Getty Images

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba remonstrates with Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey during the Premier League match at St James’ Park. Photo: Lindsey Parnaby/Getty Images

 

Paul Pogba has failed to make Manchester United’s flight to Dubai for a week of warm-weather training due to a leg injury, though the club expect him to join up soon. The Frenchman suffered the problem in a second-half challenge by Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at St James’ Park.

This caused Pogba to miss Saturday’s FA Cup third round win over Reading at Old Trafford. A club statement said: “Paul Pogba has not completely recovered from the knock he sustained against Newcastle and stayed back for treatment, but he will join his Manchester United team-mates in Dubai soon in preparation for the Tottenham game. The squad travelled to Dubai after Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Reading at Old Trafford for a training camp ahead of the Reds’ next Premier League outing, against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium next Sunday, 13 January.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the interim manager, is aiming for a sixth win for his opening six games in charge against Spurs.

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku believes Manchester United are “back to ourselves” after a difficult few months. Jose Mourinho’s sacking has rebooted things at Old Trafford, where Solskjaer could scarcely have wished for a better start to life as caretaker manager.

The Norwegian has overseen five wins from as many matches, emulating the great Matt Busby in making that 100 per cent start to life in the United hot seat. Saturday’s 2-0 win against Reading in the FA Cup was the most unconvincing of those triumphs to date, but Lukaku believes Solskjaer has got the team back to where it should be.

‘Back to ourselves’

Put to the striker that things are going well after scoring in a third-successive match, he said: “Yeah, not only for me but for the rest of the team. I think we are back to ourselves and it’s good to see the players enjoy (it) and winning games, which is the most important thing. We are Manchester United and we try to go out there and win every game.”

Lukaku missed the first two matches of Solskjaer’s reign due to a private matter but has found the net in every appearance since returning. There is no doubt this has been a tough campaign for the 25-year-old, but he is clearly enjoying life under the former United striker.

“He helps us a lot,” Lukaku said of Solskjaer. “In training when we do the finishing, he helps us a lot — how to strike the ball, how to move away from the ball. And the way how he wants us to play really benefits me because he wants me to be in a position where I want to be, so he understands what type of striker you are and he just plays to your strengths.”

A lot is expected of Lukaku as the most expensive striker in United’s history, but he is not guaranteed a starting place under Solskjaer. Marcus Rashford has shone brightest since the change in management, while the other attacking options have shown a renewed spark.

“Yeah, you have to (perform),” Lukaku told MUTV. “Look at the teams that they had back in the day and it was the same thing then. “For me, I just take it one day at a time, one game at a time and I try to help the team by scoring goals.”

United’s next match is their toughest to date, but before heading to Tottenham next Sunday comes a warm-weather camp in Dubai. “You know what, it’s going to be good for us as a team because we are performing really well but now going away it’s going us to help us become an even tighter group,” Lukaku added.

Off the pitch

“We do a lot of stuff together off the pitch and now we are going to be together for a week and hopefully it can help make us an even tighter unit.”

While United look to rack up a sixth-straight win in all competitions, struggling Championship side Reading will hope their positive performance at Old Trafford can inspire the end to a rotten 11-match winless streak.

Royals full-back Andy Yiadom said: “We came out here and we just wanted to express ourselves and do what the manager’s been telling us to do.

“Despite the result, I think we went out there and we did that.

“You could tell everyone wanted the ball and wanted to express themselves and show what they could do.” Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.