Pogba looking good but Mourinho coy about his return

LONDON • Paul Pogba appears to be getting closer to a Manchester United comeback, but manager Jose Mourinho remains unsure as to when the France midfielder will be fit to return.

"Paul is not here, I don't know when he comes back, when he's available, I've no idea," Mourinho said at his pre-match conference ahead of today's Premier League away game against Huddersfield, according to Sky Sports.

"Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) is here, he's working here, under our control, he's working so so so so hard but he's not to be back in the next week or couple of weeks.

"Let him take his time and be back when everyone feels is the right moment. Do I think he will be back in 2017, yes I do. But it is just a feeling."

United have maintained a strong start to the season since Pogba suffered a hamstring injury against Basel last month. They are second in the Premier League.

There is no doubt, though, that the midfielder's quality was missed in their two most recent matches.

United had to defend stoutly to earn a 0-0 draw at Liverpool last Saturday before grinding out a 1-0 victory over Benfica in the Champions League in Portugal on Wednesday.

Pogba posted a video on social media on Thursday of himself doing full sprints and looking in athletic shape, raising hopes he may return sooner rather than later.

United have been short of players in midfield of late, with Marouane Fellaini out with a knee injury.

It means Nemanja Matic has been paired with Ander Herrera in the two holding midfield roles and they are set to stay there if neither Fellaini nor Pogba recovers in time.

Mourinho warned his team against complacency for today's match, even though Huddersfield have not won in their last seven games.

"We are silly if we don't know what is expecting (waiting) for us," the United manager said.

"Everybody knows the Premier League and knows what it means to play against newly promoted teams, it is nothing new.

"Every team in the Premier League is good and can win every match against every opponent. The players will be buzzing and the supporters will be happy to have a big club playing in their stadium."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2017, with the headline 'Pogba looking good but Mourinho coy about his return'. Print Edition | Subscribe