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Paul Pogba on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: 'He Gives Freedom to Play Football Again'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2019

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on March 16, 2019 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has "given confidence back to the players" at Manchester United, according to Paul Pogba.

The Norwegian was announced as United's permanent manager on Thursday on a three-year deal following his remarkably successful caretaker spell as Jose Mourinho's successor.

The Red Devils have suffered back-to-back defeats in their past two fixtures, but 14 wins from the 17 games before that established Solskjaer as a prime candidate for the full-time job. 

The former United striker has led his club from 11 points behind the top four to within just two, and he masterminded a remarkable victory over Paris Saint-Germain to advance to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Manchester United's Norwegian head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures on the touchline during the FA Cup quarter-final football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on March
LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

United have also been much more exciting to watch under the 46-year-old than they were in the final months of Mourinho's tenure.

Pogba, who was benched by Mourinho late last year, has improved dramatically under Solskjaer and has praised his manager for the effect he has had on the whole squad, per Sky Sports:

"It's been very good. Results have been very good. We have a coach that value us, a really happy coach. He's given confidence back to the players. He gives freedom to play football again. Maybe we lost that before. The first day he arrived he just told us to enjoy playing football again.

"When you don't enjoy playing, there is no point playing. When you stop loving what you do, there is no point in doing it. Let's just get back to basics and enjoy. Enjoy playing together, enjoy attacking, enjoy playing together and then that's it. Then the results came by themselves."

One of the major criticisms of Mourinho during his time at Old Trafford was that he did not get the best out of a supremely talented group of players.

That has changed under Solskjaer:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Paul Pogba 📈 Marcus Rashford 📈 Romelu Lukaku 📈 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been getting the very best out of his main men at Old Trafford 🔥 https://t.co/Hta4HNylbB

United have endured something of a hangover from their remarkable 3-1 win in Paris earlier in March, as they lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the Premier League and were then knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With the last international break of the season out of the way, the Manchester giants will be looking to get back on track in Saturday's home clash against Watford in the Premier League.

A win would see them move into the the top four, as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur do not play until later in the weekend:

Premier League @premierleague

Just a reminder... #PL https://t.co/0IXHUQPqpZ

The announcement of Solskjaer's permanent deal should give United a boost going into a crucial stage of the season.

It is clear from Pogba's latest comments that United's players are enjoying their time working under the 1999 treble winner, so they will likely be encouraged that he is set to be in charge for the long haul.

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