(Reuters) - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho deserves his title of “The Special One” as he can make challenging decisions to get wins and has won three trophies in his debut campaign at the Premier League club, midfielder Paul Pogba said.
Mourinho won the Community Shield, Europa League and League Cup titles but drew criticism after an abject league performance, where United finished sixth in his first year in charge.
Pogba has defended the Portuguese manager, citing his decisive formation switch against Chelsea that helped United beat the North London side for the first time in five years, as an indicator of Mourinho’s abilities.
”He is the Special One because he wins,“ Pogba told Sky Sports on Thursday. ”Sometimes he does some extreme things. Against Chelsea, he changed our tactical formation just before the game.
“We had never trained it before but it worked out well. That was special. He won three trophies in his first year, that’s special as well. He deserves his name.”
Pogba joined United before last season for a world record transfer fee of 89.3 million pounds ($113.54 million), and the price tag has led to him being scrutinized. but Mourinho has stood up for the French international on multiple occasions.
“He’s a manager who is really close with the players. Personally, he welcomed me, we had a talk and I had a good feeling from the first moment on. He trusted and defended me. That’s all a player needs,” Pogba added.
Pogba will be in action for France’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden on Friday and the following friendly against England on Tuesday.
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Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Mark Heinrich