Paul Pogba happy with more advanced role in Stoke City win

The French midfielder was named Man of the Match in Manchester United's 3-0 victory at Old Trafford on Monday night after controlling proceedings and bagging two assists.

Paul Pogba happy with more advanced role in Stoke City win
Credit: Robbie Jay Barratt (Getty Images)

Paul Pogba has expressed his delight with being played further forward as part of a midfield three in Manchester United's 3-0 walkover of Stoke City on Monday night.

Romelu Lukaku's 11th league goal of the season on 72 minutes complimented two sumptuous first half strikes from Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial at Old Trafford.

The win narrowly reduced Manchester City's lead at the top of the Premier League table to 12 points after Pep Guardiola's side suffered a first league defeat of the season - 4-3 against Liverpool - at Anfield on Sunday evening.

More advanced role suits Pogba's attributes

Speaking on Sky Sports after full-time, Paul Pogba explained how much being positioned further up the field suits his game and, subsequently, gets the best out of him:

"I played further forward so I had more freedom, to pass forward and find my team-mates.

"[I suit that role because] I can use more of my attributes to go forward and use my power, my shooting, or try to make an assist, so yes, playing up the field suits me more."

The dynamic Frenchman thrived as a more attacking centre-midfielder during his four-year stint at Juventus, so much so that Manchester United bought him back for £89m after allowing him to move to Italy on a free transfer in 2012.

Playing as part of a midfield pivot in a 4-2-3-1 sometimes limits his true ability though, and he once again demonstrated what he can do as the centrepiece of a 4-3-3 with two assists.

Those assists lifted his league tally for the season up to nine, joint first with Manchester City duo Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sané despite playing 10 games less than the Belgian, but he refuses to get carried away:

"It's really good for me to make assists for my team-mates to score, but the most important thing is for the team to win."

 

Pogba not giving up title hopes just yet

Pogba was both the official, and fans', Man of the Match after presenting an array of passes over the 90 minutes whilst maintaining a 90% completion rate.

The 24-year-old also took 96 touches, more than any of his team-mates, and stole possession six times, indicating all-around domination in terms of offensive and defensive contribution.

However, Pogba admitted he'd like to add more goals to his game and the main goal of trying to catch up with Manchester City must be prioritised over anything.

"If I can do more by scoring more goals - that would be great - but the most important thing is getting results, and trying to catch [Manchester City].

"Like everybody else, we want to win the league. We know we are far away, but we have to try."

Paul Pogba will be looking to continue his fine season when Manchester United make the tough trip to Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon.