Ole Gunnar Solskjaer jumped to Paul Pogba’s defence after Manchester United’s top-four hopes received a major blow by losing 2-1 to Wolves on Tuesday.
After getting off to such a bright start upon Solskjaer’s first matches in charge of United as caretaker manager, Pogba’s woes appeared to be behind him.
The French midfielder managed nine goals and six assists in 12 appearances after the Norwegian took over from Jose Mourinho in December.
This prompted talk that Pogba could become the world’s greatest player and eased concerns he could be heading out of Old Trafford in the summer.
More recently, however, Pogba has just managed one assist in his last six Premier League games. And the 25-year-old had another below-par display as Solskjaer fell to a first defeat as the full-time United manager.
“Well, today he [Pogba] could have easily had an assist when the great play with him and Rom [Lukaku] so that’s just figures and numbers,” Solskjaer, according to Football365.
“Paul’s working as hard as any of the players in the team. Some days it just doesn’t come off.”
Scott McTominay’s 13th-minute opener at Molineux appeared to set United on their way to victory on Tuesday.
But Wolves keeper Rui Patricio was in fine form throughout and prevented United from going three goals up before captain Ashley Young was handed a second yellow and dismissed.
Diogo Jota’s strike and a Chris Smalling own goal secured the hosts’ a spectacular 2-1 comeback victory.
Solskjaer added: “When you’re on a yellow you’re always in danger if you go down, it’s a yellow card. It was probably a bad decision (from Young).”
The Norwegian also confessed that his squad must now take 15 out of the available 18 points if they are to finish in the Premier League’s top four this season.
The Red Devils, who are fifth in the standings for now, will next play host to Barcelona at Old Trafford next Wednesday for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.