By Hanifat Mustapha: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has urge his teammates to continue their winning ways as they welcome Manchester City to Old Trafford on Sunday.
Pogba who was sent off for a challenge on Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin at the Emirate Stadium last weekend as United defeated Arsenal 3-1,will be off the pitch on Sunday due to a three-match ban.
“United against City has always been a big, big derby,” Pogba who starred in Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over CSKA Moscow, said. “One city, two clubs. You know how it is, so I won’t tell you what’s going to happen.
“It’s going to be a big atmosphere in the stadium and a big game with a big team and big players, so that’s the game you want to play.
“Unfortunately, I won’t play, but I’ll be there to help the team mentally. To win those games, you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively and defensively.
“You need to kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well up front and they can kill the game at any time.
“They’re first for good reason, because they’ve been doing great at the start of the season. They keep winning, they didn’t lose one game and obviously, mentally, they’re very strong. We need to be as good as they are, mentally.
“Mentally, I need to be there to boost the team and, hopefully, it will help. I have complete trust in the team. Even if I’m not there, I’ll be there watching the game, giving positive energy and, hopefully, we’re going to win.
“We want to win,” he stressed. “We need to win as well. They need to win because they know that we are behind and we are closing and closing.
“We are still eight points behind so, with an eight-point gap, we cannot win the league. We are still behind. But if I didn’t believe that [we can win it], I’d stop playing football now.”
The former Juventus midfielder also spoke on his encounter with Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin which saw him off the pitch at the Emirate Stadium last weekend.
“I didn’t really speak after the game as I didn’t have time,” he added. “But I know Hector as well and I would never give him a tackle like this. Unfortunately for me, I thought he would put his feet in and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me, so I did it.
“It looks very bad but the intention wasn’t like that. They had the decision, the referee got the red card and that’s football. I’m very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby.”