Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Paul Pogba to score more spot-kicks for Manchester United ahead of Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace.
Pogba was on the receiving end of some heavy criticism on Monday after Rui Patricio saved his penalty to hold United to a 1-1 draw at Wolves. It was his fourth miss in 11 attempts in the Premier League.
Given this worrying stat, many had questioned Solskjaer’s decision to allow Pogba to take the spot-kick instead of Marcus Rashford. The striker had, in fact, scored from the spot during the Red Devils’ opening day 4-0 win over Chelsea.
After winning the penalty at Molineux, however, Pogba had a chat with Rashford before deciding he would be the one to take it.
But Solskjaer retains complete confidence in Pogba despite the backlash that’s come the player’s way ever since.
“I’m sure you’re going to see Paul Pogba score a pen for United again. We’re practising pens still and Marcus [Rashford] and Paul are still on them,” said Solskjaer, according to The Guardian.
“We can all see Paul was disappointed when he missed the penalty. He doesn’t deserve this [criticism]. When you sign for Man United you become a Manc. Once a Manc, always a Manc.
“He gives his absolute everything for the club every week. He’s got so many qualities. We’re seeing different qualities from Paul this year compared to last season and he’s a leader in the group. I expect the fans to be behind him.”
The United boss also attempted to downplay expectations surrounding Pogba at Old Trafford.
“He expects a lot from himself as well,” added Solskjaer.
“We expect a lot from him but we know that we can’t get Roy Keane, Verón, Scholes, Giggs and Cantona in one player. It’s hard. He’s a top, top player.
“We do expect a lot from our players and we have high hopes this season. Hopefully, we can be consistent and challenge when we come to April and May and Paul plays a big part in that.”
Pogba and United’s showdown with Palace at Old Trafford will begin at 16:00 (CET).