Belfast Telegraph

Pogba doesn't pay attention to 'envious' critics: Jose Mourinho

By Jack de Menezes

Jose Mourinho has fiercely hit back at critics of Paul Pogba following his lacklustre performance in Manchester United's FA Cup defeat by Chelsea at the start of the week by insisting the midfielder "doesn't give a s*** to what people say".

He also accused those questioning Pogba's performances of being pundits "in trouble with their lives" needing to express controversial views in order to make a living.

The United manager heavily defended the world's most expensive player after he faced stinging criticism from a number of pundits following Monday's 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, with the France international being outplayed by his compatriot and match-winner N'Golo Kante.

Pogba drew criticism for his performance from BBC co-commentator Martin Keown and studio pundits Alan Shearer and Phil Neville.

Perhaps the harshest criticism came from the BBC's Phil McNulty, who labelled it "another miserable night" for Pogba before casting doubt on his £89m price tag.

But speaking yesterday ahead of United's Europa League last-16 second leg against FC Rostov, with the score 1-1 from the first leg, Mourinho was in no mood to let Pogba - who turned 24 yesterday - be thrown to the wolves, blaming those who were doubting him for growing "jealous" at the vast sums of money he is earning.

"I feel that the world is losing values and envy is coming into certain levels that I am scared about, especially for the next generation if things go in this direction," Mourinho said.

"It's not his fault that some of the pundits are in trouble with their lives and they need every coin to survive and Paul is a multi-millionaire. It's not his fault.

"I'm very happy with Paul, the club is very happy with Paul. A good thing is that because of his personality he doesn't give a s*** to what people say."

Meanwhile, Mourinho's complaints about the playing surface at FC Rostov's Olimp-2 ahead of last week's first leg may have fallen on deaf ears at Uefa, but not the Russian Football Premier League, who yesterday deemed the pitch unplayable.

"The ban is imposed until the identified shortcomings are eliminated," a statement from the RFPL said.

  • Manchester Utd v Rostov, Europa League Round of 16, Second Leg, Old Trafford, Tonight, 8.05pm

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