Ole: Pogba has been through an injury nightmare

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mused on the extent of Paul Pogba's injury setbacks, after the Frenchman returned to action in Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Pogba, who had not played for the Reds since our 4-1 victory over Newcastle on Boxing Day, was a second-half substitute in our first competitive fixture since the suspension of football due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The midfielder came on for Fred in the second half and won a penalty, which Bruno Fernandes converted in the 81st minute after United fell behind to a first-half strike from Steven Bergwijn.

As well as speaking about Pogba, the boss reflected on the match itself, the potential of Paul and Bruno in midfield and his thoughts on our penalty ruled out by VAR late on, when he spoke to MUTV and Sky Sports after the game.

PAUL'S INJURY NIGHTMARE

“He’s delighted to be back on the pitch. He’s had a nine, 10-month injury nightmare. It's not been like you are out for 10 months. It's been I'm almost back, work hard, work hard and gets back, gets injured again, has to have an operation. He was close to coming back before the lockdown and now finally he is back playing. I'm sure everyone can see he's got a great hunger for the game and he is a very, very good footballer.”

Solskjaer: We deserved more than a pointVideo

IT'S GREAT TO HAVE HIM BACK

“The players who came on, I thought they made a difference. Nemanja did fantastic. Of course Paul’s contribution is there to be seen. He played the pass of the day when he played Marcus through and he had the skill of the day when he was fouled for the penalty. Paul is one of the best players in the world and it’s great to have him back. It's good to give him minutes and he'll work hard to get even fitter for next time and play more. It is a different team to the team he left with his injury. Bruno has come in, the boys have got some more momentum before the lockdown.”

IT WAS A DOMINANT PERFORMANCE

“I’m disappointed, to be fair. I think the performance deserves more than one point. I can’t remember them threatening us in the second half. Not too much in the first half either. They get a goal out of more or less nothing and they have a good chance after. David makes a good save from Son’s header, but apart from that it was only a matter of time before we scored.

“We need to be more clinical, but then again if you look back to last season when we played Tottenham and won 1-0, you came off delighted because we got three points but the performance wasn’t close to this one. This was a dominant performance and I think we showed in the second half that we can play against teams that defend deep and create chances.”

Bruno: We aren't satisfied with a pointVideo

OLE'S HALF-TIME MESSAGE

“The first half was too slow and it seemed like the players had some doubt in their heads about fitness, about quality, getting going again, playing in this atmosphere, but trust yourselves. Play quicker, one touch less, a split-second less on the ball, harder passes, harder runs, harder pressing and just trust yourselves and that was the message.”

Shaw: We felt fit and deserved moreVideo

FINDING THE PERFECT BALANCE

“We’re a club that wants the best players in the world playing together. We just need to find a balance of attacking and defending. That's always a key word when you set a team up there and I think today Paul showed he can play with Bruno. Paul got a penalty for us and Bruno scored the goal.”

THE OVERTURNED PENALTY

“I've not seen the actual decision. I don’t think it was a foul on Bruno, but I thought the referee was going to pull it back because I think Marcus pulled Aurier back, so deep down I was not confident in the penalty anyway.”

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