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Jose Mourinho lets true feelings on Paul Pogba slip during Tottenham team-talk


Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba had a strained relationship at Manchester United.

The pair never saw eye to eye and the Portuguese boss was never really able to get the best out of the Frenchman after his big-money return from Juventus.

But Mourinho knows the qualities that make a top player – and it is clear that he recognises Pogba’s talent.

In the latest part of the Tottenham Hotspur: All of Nothing series on Amazon Prime, Mourinho was unable to hide his true feelings on Pogba.

He had special instructions for his players regarding the Frenchman as he awaited his arrival in their clash in North London after the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho had a strained relationship at Man Utd

The game marked Pogba’s long-awaited return after injury and the Spurs boss was proved right as he helped change the game and won a penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw.

Mourinho told his players before he came on exactly what to expect as he told them to press Pogba and limit his options.

Yet they were unable to act as a cross field ball to Rashford exactly as predicted required a recovery tackle from Davinson Sanchez.

Addressing the squad at half-time in the dressing room, Mourinho said: “I think, for sure, sooner or later Pogba is coming. And every time Pogba has the ball, he will have the vision, he will have the quality of pass.

Mourinho’s admiration for Pogba as a player was clear before he came on at Tottenham

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“So I can imagine Pogba from a position like that [deep right of midfield] to get the ball and to make a beautiful pass here for Marcus Rashford to go.

“So Pogba will improve the quality of passing, so we need to press him. And we need to control what is far from him.

“They want to press all the time. You need to measure the risk, don’t make mistakes, don’t attract the pressure.

“One thing is to play short – one pass, another pass and then we go – another thing is pass here, pass here, pass there because you are attracting the pressure.

“There is a lot of space to counter-attack and to kill them.”

As the players stood up to go back out on the pitch, Mourinho shouted: “Don’t let Pogba shoot! If he approaches the box, press the ball if he shoots!”

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