Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Paul Pogba to be given a huge show of support from the Old Trafford faithful when he runs out against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
The midfielder was notably criticized on social media after his penalty was saved by Wolves’ Rui Patricio in the 1-1 draw on Monday, despite earning the spot-kick with a driving run into the box that drew a foul from Conor Coady.
Some of the abuse online was completely unacceptable and prompted swift condemnation from the club.
It is anticipated that the Frenchman will have the full backing of our crowd this weekend and will continue to deliver the sort of performances that justify his status as a World Cup-winning star.
“We can all see Paul was disappointed when he missed a penalty,” Ole told reporters at the Aon Training Complex. “He doesn’t deserve this. He is, as I’ve said so many times, and he’s said it himself, when you sign for Man United, you become a Manc and, once a Manc, is always a Manc, and he gives his absolute everything for the club every week. “
“He expects a lot from himself as well, so it doesn’t frustrate me. We expect a lot from him, but we know we can’t get Roy Keane, [Juan Sebastian] Veron, [Paul] Scholes, [Ryan] Giggs, [Eric] Cantona in one player. It’s hard, but he’s a top, top player.”
“I know people expect him to do absolutely everything on a football pitch, but he’s got so many qualities that we’re seeing different qualities from Paul this year, compared to last season, and he’s a leader in the group. So, I expect the fans to be behind him, yes.”
The manager has been pleased with the way Pogba has been performing in a deeper midfield role, alongside Scott McTominay, and does not accept there is a greater burden on him following the departure of Ander Herrera.
“I think Scott has played well in midfield, definitely,” said Solskjaer. “We’ve still got Nemanja [Matic] and Fred, who hasn’t been involved, and Andreas [Pereira] has played more advanced. Some games, I’m sure we’ll see Paul higher up the pitch as well and, so far, I’ve been very pleased with his performances. There are other players who have to step up, yes definitely, but so far, so good.”