Premier League

Pogba on start to Man Utd season: I was out of breath, I couldn't run

The France midfielder feels like he can return to his best form after a spell suffering from coronavirus

Paul Pogba scored a wonderful goal against West Ham Paul Pogba scored a wonderful goal against West Ham
2:38pm on Sunday 6th December 2020
Chris Myson

Paul Pogba has opened up on his difficult recovery from injury and coronavirus which impacted his form at the start of the 2020/21 season.

The Manchester United midfielder scored a brilliant long-range goal as his side came from behind to defeat West Ham 3-1 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Pogba, 27, now feels like he can control the game again and is nearly back to his best.

But he has revealed how much he struggled physically at the start of the season, when he tested positive for COVID-19 at a time when he was already working his way back from a long-term injury.

Pogba was left struggling to run and found himself out of breath on a regular basis.

"It’s strange, it’s hard to explain because you wouldn’t understand," Pogba said to MUTV.

"Even in training, I would say to the fitness coach that I feel strange. It was not me. I was getting tired very fast and out of breath really fast.

"The first game of the season, I couldn’t run. I was trying.

"I spoke with the manager, ‘I will start the game and let’s see,’ but I was very out of breath and it took me a long time to get me back to my fitness and to get back physically good.

"I had an injury, a long-term injury, I came back, it was strange for me. I wasn’t ready physically I would say. I felt weakness physically.

"You know, just to play the 90 minutes and carrying on with the games… it’s such a difference."

Paul Pogba
DM, M (C) - Man Utd - 27 yrs
Dec 5, 2020
90Minutes played
2Total shots
2Shots on target
14Final third passes
85Passes completed

With his fitness issues behind him, Pogba appeared to have turned a corner against West Ham, recording a FC Rating of 8.4 to be named man of the match.

"[I’m feeling] so good,” he added after playing 90 minutes.

"Obviously it feels good to play. The lads have been playing really well as well.

"I’m finding my rhythm as well. I feel so much better, I felt I could go again, control the game, getting the ball.

"That’s what I like, myself. That’s what I think is good for the team.

"I’m a team player. As long as the team wins, that’s the most important. I find myself good and we want to win. That’s why I came here and that’s why I want to be successful."

A ninth straight away win in the Premier League means United are three points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand.

West Ham 1-3 Man Utd: Match stats and player ratings

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