Rio Ferdinand has defended Paul Pogba over comments the Frenchman made during the recent international break.
Speaking earlier this week, Pogba said that linking up with the national team was a ‘breath of fresh air’ during one of the most difficult periods in his career, although many outlets failed to contextualise the Frenchman’s remarks, which were not directly critical of United.
“This is a period, the kind of which I have never experienced in my career,” Pogba said. “We are very happy to come here and all very happy to see each other again. It is not the same as with the club… We all group together, it is magical. We realise that everyone is happy to come and that makes a difference.”
Speaking on BT Sport ahead of United’s game against West Brom on Saturday night, a game Pogba missed through injury, Ferdinand said he understood the midfielder’s point of view.
“I understand what he’s saying,” Ferdinand said. “You don’t want to hear it as a Manchester United fan, first and foremost, but we’ve been there, we know that when you’re in bad form as an individual, or collective as a team, going away with your national side is very much a breath of fresh air.
“It means you can take your mind off that pressure, get out of that pressure, go into international football and get a bit of confidence back.
“I think that’s what Paul’s done with two good games. He’ll be in a different frame of mind after that.”
Paul Scholes added: “The big difference is that Paul Pogba’s playing for France, he’s not played many games – probably rightly so with the way Manchester United play.
“He’s probably not deserved to play but he’s gone away with France and done okay.
“[I’m] a little bit disappointed after playing two games for France that he’s unavailable but, having said that, would he have played anyway? I’m not sure he would.”