Pogba: I'm a team player
Paul Pogba was full of confidence after Manchester United pulled off yet another Premier League comeback to secure three points away at West Ham.
The French midfielder was instrumental in our triumph at the London Stadium, scoring a superb equaliser as United went on to win 3-1.
After the match, it was a very happy man who spoke exclusively to MUTV's Stewart Gardner.
You can read what he had to say below...
Paul, how do we explain two very different halves of football here tonight?
"Fortunately, it’s football. We’ve been doing this for a long time and we know we have to improve on this. We don’t want a reaction, we want to do it from the start. The result is positive today. We have to improve, we know we can improve, we can do so much better and we showed it in the second half. Let’s keep positive, it’s a positive result. In the second half, we showed who we were and the result came by itself."
That’s five times this season. We’ve won all our five away games this season and every time we’ve gone behind and come back to win it. Does that show the quality of the squad and also the team spirit?
"I don’t know, maybe we like to concede a goal, I don’t know what it is. We have to resolve this but it ended up good and that’s the most important thing. That’s the most important thing, that we have a good reaction, even though we know we can do so much better, we end up winning the games and show so much character."
Your goal obviously got us back into the game. What do you remember from that?
"The kick from Dean was a bit… We didn’t know if it was out or in but we just went for it. I just went for it, I saw Bruno had the ball and I was free. I hit it in the first half, it didn’t go well, but the second time it went in and I’m really happy with this. I feel confident, I feel myself, like more in my legs and physically I feel much better. It’s good, you know, just to get back in the team, and to score this goal to help the team get back in the game, it’s very important for the team. I’m very happy for that."
When you score, you covered your ear to the fans there… Is it good to have fans back in the game?
"So good, so good. Because the first shot… It’s like good pressure, I would say. I like this. I like this pressure. It’s nice even for West Ham to have fans, to hear the crowd, you know. It’s such a difference, it feels good and football without fans is not football I would say. It’s totally different. Of course, it’s football but with with the crowd you can feel the love of the fans, so good."
That goal of yours, really sparked us into life. Great goal from Mason, Juan’s throughball to Marcus, it changed completely…
"We played. We play how we love to play football. Remember against Leipzig, when we played, when we scored the goals in the second half it was the same. It was two touch, two touch, one touch. The goal of Rashy was one-touch football. It was beautiful. That’s what we are, we have the quality to do that, and we have to do it from the start. There are so many chances, we conceded, it was hard for us in the first half and we showed character in the second half and that’s what we have to remember."
How are you feeling after 90 minutes? You’ve had injuries, you’ve had illness, how do you feel after that?
"So good. Obviously it feels good to play. The lads have been playing really well as well. I had an injury, a long-term injury, I came back, it was strange for me. I wasn’t ready physically I would say. I felt weakness physically. You know, just to play the 90 minutes and carrying on with the games… It’s such a difference. I’m finding my rhythm as well. I feel so much better today, I felt I could go again, control the game, getting the ball. That’s what I like, myself. That’s what I think is good for the team. I’m a team player. As long as the team wins, that’s the most important, you know. I find myself good and we want to win. That’s why I came here and that’s why I want to be successful."
How much has it taken out of you, Covid, you know, you’re a professional athlete, fit person. How much has it taken out of you?
"It’s strange, it’s hard to explain because you wouldn’t understand. Even in training, I would say to the fitness coach that I feel strange. It’s not me. I get tired very fast and I’m out of breath really fast. The first game of the season, I couldn’t run. I was trying. I spoke with the manager, “I will start the game and let’s see,” but I was very out of breath and it took me a long time to get me back to my fitness and to get back physically good."
Really big week ahead for us. Champions League, the Manchester derby. I suppose we go there with a bit of confidence after a result like this?
"For sure, we have two big games coming up. We have Champions League [against Leipzig] and we have City. We know that those are two very important games, decisive games. We have to carry on this mentality of winning, always. That’s what the club is about and we want to carry on this and what we did in the second half. And yeah, that’s it."
Winning mentality, we’re seeing this in these games, aren’t we?
"Always. It has to be inside. I mean, always. We cannot afford to lose and be happy with a loss or a draw. We have to be bad losers, that’s what we have to be, and always want to win. Even 1-0 or 6-5… We have to win. That’s what we want."