United Briefing: Pogba sets sight on 'big' picture
Manchester United must use the Carabao Cup exit as a learning platform to help launch the Reds to the next level, says Paul Pogba.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side missed out on a Wembley date against Tottenham Hotspur after neighbours City made the final with a 2-0 semi final win at Old Trafford.
The derby defeat ended an unbeaten seven-match run in all competitions, but our French midfielder insists the KO mustn’t wreck joint-Premier League leaders United’s campaign.
“It is disappointing because it is not the first one against City at home. We are disappointed with the result, obviously, with the two goals from set-pieces,” Paul told MUTV.
“It is very annoying to lose because there is a trophy behind all of this. We have to do better, we have to do better for sure.
“It is about details. Details make the difference all of the time and now when it is big games like this, it is details and at set-pieces we lost. We have to learn because it is not the first time.
“We have to learn, we have to get through this because, after this, there are big games coming up. Next time, we will do better, we will do better.”
Pogba: There is no time to be disappointed
Paul reflects on our Carabao Cup loss, but feels it's important to focus on our upcoming games...
United open up our 2021 FA Cup campaign on Saturday evening against Watford in the third-round tie at Old Trafford and have two Premier League away matches in six days next week against Burnley and Liverpool.
“There is no time to be disappointed for a week because we know where we are. We are in a good position now. We don’t have time to be disappointed. We don’t have the time. We will get through this and we will go again,"insisted Paul.
“It is difficult and it is going to be difficult, and you learn from these games. It is going to hopefully help us to get through, to get better and to have a positive result in the next games.
“Football and playing for Man United is not easy, it will never be easy, but it makes the victory prettier and more beautiful when we get through a tough time, then we get through this.
“It is beautiful and you get the emotion. That is all we want. That is what the fan wants, that is what the team wants, everyone wants this.
“The club is built on winning and big things, so that is all we want to get – the big stuff.”
Twelve months ago United were also beaten in the Carabao Cup semi-final against City in a two-legged encounter. But Pogba believes the Reds are in better shape a year on despite another last four disappointment.
“We are improving. Last year they were obviously more dominant and they dominated us. Today that wasn’t the case so obviously we are improving,” said Paul.
“We are improving in the league and, even though we lost in the semi-final, we are still going far and that is what we want. But now it is about details. It is good to improve but we have to go to the next step now, all of us.”
Ole's verdict on a disappointing semi-final
“We had some moments but just not enough,” admits the boss in an honest post-match interview...
At the Aon Training Complex, United’s attention has turned to Saturday night’s Emirates FA Cup third-round tie against Watford and the squad will presumably be split into two: those involved against Man City will be recovering, with everyone else out on the pitches as usual.
Meanwhile, Casey Stoney’s United Women are stepping up their preparations for Sunday’s WSL match against Everton, following a short break over the Christmas and New Year period.
Solskjaer weighs into penalty debate
Watch the second half of Ole’s pre-City press conference, including his response to Jurgen Klopp’s comments…
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
We’ll keep this brief: as you know, the Reds exited the Carabao Cup and you can catch up on the manager’s reaction now, or take another look at the action by watching the match highlights.
Meanwhile, away from the first team, talented Academy goalkeeper Matej Kovar returned to the club from a loan spell at Football League side Swindon Town to continue his education.