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Manchester United

Solskjaer warns United star to be ready

23rd February 2019, 10:11 by Nick Harris

Paul Pogba may have to deal with being man-marked on a regular basis, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer has overseen a massive turnaround at United and Pogba more than anyone else has reaped the rewards, but he was man-marked in the only defeat they have suffered, against PSG, and the caretaker boss has warned him that might become the norm.

"He's a top, top player that I've always liked, ever since I saw him as a kid," Solskjaer said.

"He's a World Cup winner, he's a leader in the dressing room, on the pitch as well. He wants the ball all the time.

"My idea was to get him playing to the best of his abilities, not just him, but I thought he was an attacking midfielder.

"You see PSG man-marked him, other teams probably will.

"I don't know if Liverpool will. If they do, we will have experienced that because that is what they did and stopped Paul and created space for others. We need to be ready for that."

Meanwhile Solskjaer knows it will be a white hot atmosphere on Sunday when Liverpool visit Old Trafford.

"I've played in a few of these myself and I know the magnitude of it for the fans, for everyone who works here, the staff," Solskjaer said.

"There have been many comments about, 'this is the big one' and 'we're looking forward to this one'.

"Then it's our job to be focusing and channelling all that energy into performance mode. It's not about emotions.

"I understand that emotion can be brought into it, but we have to stay focused and controlled but with some fight in us as well."

That focus is something Solskjaer has maintained admirably to date, with his attention on improving players and getting them smiling working wonders.

Paul Pogba has reaped the clearest rewards of that approach, having gone from unused substitute at Liverpool in December to a key man under the caretaker boss.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.

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